23before23 #11: Getting a Job

Finding a job to match up with my Summer plans was never going to be easy, to be honest, I thought it would be impossible.

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Although I’m not jetting off here, there and everywhere (a girl can dream though), my other half is still up North working hard who I want to see as much as possible, and I’ve had a couple of other things planned which has stopped me from getting a full time Summer job. That, and trying to find someone who will only employ you for 3 months is bloody tricky!

 

Luckily for me, the firm that my mom works for has a lot of archiving that needs doing before November time and they employed me to basically spend my day in a room alone filing tens of thousands of pieces of paper.

 

I’m not going to pretend that it’s my dream Summer job, or that it is even remotely enjoyable (although working alone definitely has it’s perks), but it has definitely got me into the right mind set for finding work when living back in Manchester in September. That and I’m currently saving for some place to live, which may seem a bit crazy planning a whole year in advance but all of the money I’m earning from this Summer job is going straight in the moving out piggy bank, which is actually super exciting because it means that I will definitely be on my feet firmly to have somewhere to live and being financially secure in a years time (oh adulthood, how I adore thee). 

 

Although I would love to be seeing more of my friends, and to be going to more festivals, I’m just focusing on how this job will benefit me in the long run and I’m very excited for future me!!

 

Journaling Maddie 

xxx

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23before23 #10 Dying My Hair

When I was 12 I got dared by my sister’s best mate to dye my hair ginger…I did, I loved it, and the hair dye addiction begun.

 

I started to dye my own hair when I was sixteen, I remember so clearly having my last day at school, walking out, getting my nose pierced and colouring my hair purple to match my new nose stud. It is safe to say that I haven’t looked back since.

 

My hair has been every colour that I could have imagined since then, pink, purple, green, blue, black, grey, blonde, brunette, and every colour in between.

 

Honestly, I don’t think I ever want to give up colouring my hair, it’s always been a way of showcasing my personality and speaking for me without me having to open my mouth.

 

Recently my wonderful hairdresser Angela offered me a hair modelling job! She got some absolutely beautiful metallic colours in from the new milk_shake range and needed to try them out on someone and she said I’d be the perfect candidate. I of course said yes, who says no to a free day in the salon knowing that you’re going to leave with fresh hair?!

 

We opted for two colours to run through my hair, the metallic violet and metallic pink. The colours are beautiful and really add a shimmering metallic undertone, especially when out in this beautiful sunshine we are having!

 

I also want to add that the smell is something else, and I mean that in a really really good way!! The sweet scent is subtle but much more pleasant than the classic hair dye chemical smell.

I am so excited for a summer of experimenting with my hair!

Journaling Maddie 

xxx

 

Relapsing During Recovery 

TW: Eating disorder recovery, relapse and mental health. Specifically focusing on restriction relapse. No weight / calorie numbers will be in this post.

 

  I’ve been seeing a wonderful doctor at an incredible eating disorder clinic for the past few months. Over the past month I have been sticking to a very strict eating schedule to try and help me get into the swing of standard eating patterns and slowly reintroducing food to my day to day life.

I saw my doctor last Friday who was, albeit frustrated that my weight is still declining, really proud of me for sticking to my new schedule. In all honesty, I found the schedule easy because of who I am as a person. It wasn’t the eating that was easy, but the timekeeping was.

Knowing that I had free range over what I ate and portion sizes made it a lot easier for me. He was keen for me to start increasing portion sizes as we are currently on a two week gap from seeing each other again, and was concerned that my weight would plummet further.

During the conversation, I was feeling really positive about this next step! However, a couple of days ago I had a total breakdown, up until then I had been sticking religiously to my eating schedule.

The issue with this was that we hadn’t discussed what to do in that moment, if I did relapse. I came to the conclusion that I just wasn’t hungry, but that isn’t a good enough excuse not to eat whilst going through such an intense recovery process. I felt like a failure, the thought of eating consumed my mind for hours and hours, so much so that I was 3 hours off the time on my schedule. I honestly didn’t know what to do.

For my eating disorder, I have learned through recovery, it is self destructive to restrict in the way that I do, however in that moment I felt that if I did eat anything, then it would result in further, different self destructive behaviours.

After hours of deliberating, I turned to beatED, the leading eating disorder charity in the UK. I’ve never used their services before, but I felt like I was in such despair and in a really tricky and stressful situation. I was connected to a lovely woman on the live chat within a minute and it was the most helpful, and calming situation I could’ve wished for in that moment.

I explained my dilemma, and just had a full blown negative rant to be honest! The woman asked me more questions and we had an honest chat about everything, my recovery so far, my support system and what the charity could do for me. After around 40 minutes my head had stopped spinning and I felt like I could make a clear, informed and calm discussion as to what to do in that moment.

I made an informed decision to skip the meal, and although I was initially riddled with the feeling of guilt, reading back over my conversation with the lovely lady at Beat, I knew that in that instance, I had made the correct decision for my wellbeing and immediate health.

I never expected recovery to be easy, but after riding a semi positive wave, I was upset to have relapsed during my recovery.

But knowing that tomorrow will always be a new day is a very comforting thought.

Recovery isn’t a sprint, it’s a bloody long marathon, a tough one at that, and I am really proud of myself for even accepting help after years and years of the eating disorder taking over every single aspect of my life. 

It’s going to be a long road, and I feel like I’m starting all over again and the past few months of hard work were all for nothing, but know in reality that that isn’t the case.

I’m armed with knowledge to over power & combat my eating disorder, and I’m excited to pick up the pieces and give it another go.

If anyone is struggling, or wants to support a loved one going through a tough time with an eating disorder, I couldn’t recommend beatED enough! It’s an incredibly supportive and kind community that I feel lucky to have at my finger tips.
Much love,

Journaling Maddie xxx

23before23 #9 Going to a New Place – A Day Out In Halifax

As much as I would love to be on a plane to a hot country, sunning it up and exploring a tropical island, that just isn’t the case! Instead I am making the most of exploring the beauty of England this Summer time.

 

Just 20 minutes away on the train, it’s odd that I’ve never thought to visit Halifax before now!

 

Halifax is a little West Yorkshire town, known for the Piece Hall and it’s beautiful historic architecture.

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The Piece Hall

Stepping off the train, the Piece Hall was at most a five minute stroll away, and was striking to set my eyes upon when we turned the cobblestoned corner. The majority of the day was spent pottering around the Piece Hall, weaving in and out of all the little shops.

 

Loafers is a coffee and record store, basically mine and Max’s two favourite things under one roof, so that was a great start for us! There was also a teeny baby sausage dog in there too which made the whole situation even better. After a coffee and listening to some records, we moved on around some of the other shops, mooching around, looking at some beautiful vintage clothes and the homeware pieces of my future dreams, before popping off to a cafe for lunch.

 

 

The Deli had a great range of food (there were so many tasty veggie options too which was great!) and drinks, so we stopped off there for some lunch before heading back out to look around the rest of the shops.

 

 

A definite favourite shop of mine was The Yorkshire Soap Company. The soaps, candles and other sweet smelling products were so beautifully displayed, I just wanted to bring it all home with me! Max picked up a Mango and Lychee candle that smells so divine even when it’s not burning.

2aba7c0b-a64c-4b45-9c6a-232d599cee81Gin Lane Shop was another obvious fave as Max is a gin fiend! We browsed some bottles and had a really great chat with the guy who worked there who was super clued up on all the different gins that they stocked.

 

Underneath the shop, they also have a bar where they serve the gins that they stock upstairs, so naturally we had to give it a go!

 

Sat out in the sun that decided to peep out for a short while, I tried a Rhubarb Gin with elderflower tonic and Max went for Manchester Gin’s Violet Liquor coupled up with Mediterranean tonic, which tasted just like parma violets, so if that’s your thing then I’d definitely recommend for a trip down memory lane.

 

 

We of course couldn’t leave the Piece Hall without popping into the old-timey sweet shop Spogs and Spice, jars stacked high of all the traditional sweets you could imagine from your childhood.

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Finishing up in the Piece Hall, we weren’t quite ready to go home just yet, so wandered into the town centre where the cobbled streets are littered with shops, but also some lovely independent finds too. We ended up having a mooch around a record store which had such a good range of genres (of course, Max didn’t leave empty handed!) and was lovely to just have a good sift through.

 

 

The Piece Hall is a perfect day out for anyone and everyone, and I think that’s proven as when we were there, the place was full of people of all ages, kids with their grandparents, young couples, big groups of moms, dog owners and coffee lovers.

 

I would so highly recommend planning a day out there, especially in the sunshine because the building truly does glisten in the heat of the day!

 

Journaling Maddie xxx

June 2018

June has just involved a whole lot of back and forth between Manchester, Huddersfield and Birmingham but I wouldn’t change it at all!


The month kicked off with Toby Burton’s EP launch at The Parish in Huddersfield. Toby is the first artist that Max and I worked with for In Session so we naturally wanted to go and show our support. The gig was great and we picked up one of his EP’s, although you can listen to it on Spotify and I’d really recommend it because he is such a talented songwriter and performer.

The following day Max and I got the train into Leeds to spend our Wagamama’s voucher and have a wander around the record stores. There was a cute dog on the train back so obviously that day was a 10/10.


I went home and started a new job, just a Summer job picking up a few hours here and there at my mom’s office doing odd jobs and filing, but it’s been keeping me busy whilst at home which is always a plus.


Jumping in the car with Max’s parents to spend a bit of time with them in Huddersfield was lovely, before getting on the train to Manchester to see Taylor Swift at the Etihad. Honestly I’d never been a big fan of hers but seeing her live has changed my opinion highly! I happened to go by chance, but if you ever get the opportunity to see her I would beyond recommend it and I’m looking forward already to when she next tours again!

Back to Huddersfield the following day, I spent the beautifully sunny afternoon with Max and Peter, having a drink in Greenhead park and a good chin wag. We also walked by Max’s new house that he’ll be moving into next month so it was good to get an idea of the area he’s living in.

Once again, back on a train to Manchester, this time with Max, to see Haim at the Apollo, and it was incredible! I saw them last in 2014 at Glastonbury and I was obsessed, so it was amazing to see how much they’ve changed (for the better) over the years. They played a good amount of their old songs too rather than just the whole of the new album so that was refreshing!

The following evening was spent in A&E due to my worst endometriosis flare up since my surgery last September. It was a bit disheartening that this has happened again, however the doctors were lovely and very understanding, I was prescribed a lot stronger pain relief and they gave me a clear plan of what to do if this pursues.

A few days of bed rest was made better by meeting up with Max, Chris, Henry and Matt after a training day for their new job (suddenly ruined by me being sick in the toilets *classy* and having to go home).


Back to Manchester again but this time to walk across the city with some amazing people for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. The weather just about held dry, and it was just lovely seeing everyone again and being able to raise some money and awareness for a really important cause.

You can find more information as to why we did this walk, and donate money too, here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ibd-warriors-walk-it-manchester-2018


We had a chill few days in Huddersfield, Max took a couple days off work too which was really lovely as we got a proper chance to have some us time and relax a little!

Our 4th anniversary rolled around and we celebrated with a lie in, a walk into town fuelled by coffee, and an evening date night at Lala’s Indian (incredible, 10/10 would recommend).

The following day was spent pottering around The Piece Hall in Halifax, but I’m going to do a whole other blog post on that so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon!


I went back to Birmingham but only two days at work before going to the caravan in Bournemouth with my parents and Lady. This was Lady’s first time at the caravan, but also her first ever trip to the beach and seaside!

(It should be noted that I’m currently writing this in 30 degree heat, on the veranda of the caravan with a beer in hand – cheers!)

She has been so good, I was worried at first because she’s so nervous around other dogs, but I think as it’s a whole new place to her she’s just focussed on taking it all in rather than crying at other dogs haha.

The weather has been incredible, as previously mentioned, so each day has been spent trying to get out and do stuff as early as possible to avoid being out in the heat of the day, chilling during the middle of the day then going to the beach for a walk in the evenings.

Honestly I wasn’t sure about coming away, as much as I adore spending time with my parents, like every twenty-something, I need my space too, but this has been a perfect combination of the two which has been very pleasant and not at all suspected.


My month ended the best way possible, Max came home for the weekend and I got to see Erin and Gina too! It’s so difficult trying to find time to see the girls, as they live here and for the past two years I’ve not left Manchester for longer than a week (until now). But even now that I’m back we all still have so many commitments, Gina is smashing it at work and Erin is somehow balancing working full time and being in a really cool band, playing festivals all Summer! So it is really treasured when we do get to spend time together, especially because it is so few and far between.


It wouldn’t be a monthly without some faves so here goes:

Album / Playlist: My role at work means I basically lock myself in a room for hours on end sorting files, which can send you a lil stir crazy as I’m sure you could imagine, so I needed some motivational music to get me through, and the album I am constantly going back to is “Death of a Bachelor”, which is a massive revisit, however the more I think about it, it’s definitely in my top 5 albums.

Song: Although June has been the month of all months for new releases, The 1975’s new track “Give Yourself A Try” was top of my priorities and it did not disappoint!

TV / Movie: I binged hard on TV this month after all of my deadlines were out of the way, but my favourite has to be Hollyoaks, it has covered so many important topics these past few months and it’s amazing to see the hard work and dedication put into portraying them excellently and accurately.

Place: The caravan, it’s the home of a million of my childhood memories and I love being in my 20s and still enjoying it and making more memories!

Memory: Taking my gorgeous doggy for her first seaside holiday.

Accomplishment: Getting into the swing of having a job again!

Journaling Maddie x

1 Year of Journaling Maddie

Just over a year ago the reality of a summer alone in Manchester with a whole lot of nothing to do hit me, and with the sunshine fuelling my creativity, I began to plan out Journaling Maddie.


Growing up, I had several blogs over several years, and whilst my heart was always in the right place, I really wasn’t committed, long term.

Journaling Maddie however has been everything I ever wanted out of a creative space. I have loved every piece of content that I have produced and I am really excited about the future of it too!


So cheers to one year, and here’s to many more!


Journaling Maddie 

xxx