July 2018

July has been a bit of a whirlwind month for me, as has August so far hence the delay in this post going up!


The month began with Max, his parents and their friends all having a cute garden party. It was all very sweet with some delicious nibbles and drinks being passed around alongside great company and conversation. The 28 degree heat and glorious sunshine definitely played a part too!


Getting to see Erin and Gina is a dream as of late. When I left school at 16 life took us all in very different directions, and the 7 years that have passed have been difficult in a sense of trying to see each other or even having time to send messages between ourselves. But this Summer has been amazing for being able to see them, and I am grateful for our patience over the past 7 years that we managed to persevere because being able to see them semi regularly has been super rewarding!
We take it in turns to host nights, and I was in charge this time! Vegan pizza & ice cream, wine, board games, gossip and catch ups, it’s like no time has passed at all.


The wonderful Angela dyed my hair but you can read all about that right here.


The journey to Huddersfield began and I decided to stop at Manchester for a little catch up with Amy and Sara which was lovely!


With the World Cup in full swing we went to watch the semi’s at Corner (a fave cute find Huddersfield) with so much hope for the England team but we were left feeling totally deflated when we lost. We did however have a great evening, throughout the whole world cup the general spirit of the nation was so surprising and uplifting!


The weekend was spent enjoying the sunshine, drinking cold coffee in Espresso corner and pottering around town. We got to see The Incredibles 2, which definitely lived up to expectations, I felt like a big kid all over again! Afterwards I wished that we had watched the first one directly beforehand, but regardless, it was a great watch and I really want to see it again.

I planned a surprise date night for Max on my last evening in Hudd. Whilst he was at work I tidied the house top to bottom, pre-ordered Dominos, got out some freshly washed pj’s, lit some candles and poured two gin and lemonades. Once he was home from work the pizza arrived and we put on his choice of film, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (not a bad choice but not quite ‘Clueless’…) and snuggled up into bed and just had the most chill evening we have had in a long time. It was lovely just to see Max truly be able to relax after months of hard work!


Erin told G and me of a pub quiz in one of our fave local hangs, so we headed down and absolutely bottled it if I’m totally honest hahaha! But it was such good fun, we did come 3rd so at least we weren’t last and we had such a laugh and a much needed catch up.


My parents took me out for a meal at a local tapas restaurant. Now, this was a big deal for me, two things terrify me when it comes to eating, 1. Public eating, and 2. Tapas. This was a big, emotional hurdle for me but the world didn’t crumble around me and I didn’t implode so that’s a massive step forward! But moving onwards…


Erin, G and I went to ASK Italian for a catch up and I ate exclusively vegan, which is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. As I have previously mentioned, I am in eating disorder recovery and I am on a very strict eating schedule currently. I have been vegetarian for a while, but skip out on dairy to try and help control my endometriosis better. I’d love to go vegan but it’s not the right time for me in my recovery, but eating out I do challenge myself to eat vegan!

I had the most beautiful customised vegan pizza with peppers, mushrooms and olives and a delicious glass of wine!

It was the perfect time for a good long catch up and we spent hours upon hours chatting which was much needed for all three of us.


The next day was a long car journey up to Huddersfield, in an attempt to move Max from one house to another with his parents. We took a break and went to Halifax again for the day, it was an odd combination of blue skies, 30 degree heat and sunshine, mixed with random bursts of thunder and lightning rain storms!

I was worried John (the cat) wouldn’t be about especially with the weather being so bad, but he pulled through and came to say goodbye, which broke my tiny heart, I love him so so so much and I firmly believe that he always knew when I was feeling down, he would always pop up whenever I was having a bad day. I know it sounds crazy and kind of cheesy but that street cat was my absolute fave and always cheered me up!

Of course it would be torrential the weekend of moving house, but we managed to get it done over the two days and felt very accomplished whilst sat in the new house eating Chinese food and having a good catch up with Joe and Chris.


After a couple of days of settling into the new house, we jumped back on a train and I went straight into work, before packing for 110 Above Festival.

This festival is really special to me, Max and I have been going for the past 3 years, the first year we attended by chance, whilst we were looking for something to do over our anniversary weekend, we loved the line up so had a bit of a ‘yolo’ moment and we haven’t looked back since!

But that will have a whole separate other post, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for that one!


Some July faves…

Album / Playlist: The 110 Above Festival playlist on Spotify to prep me for the festival at the start of next month!

Song: Another The 1975 track this month (soz, not soz) “Love It If We Made It”, major heart eyes.

TV / Movie: Started watching Ackley Bridge, was so sceptical at first as it just seemed like a new era Waterloo Road but I am really enjoying it so far

Place: I feel like my feet haven’t really touched the ground this month, so my favourite place this month would have to be the train!

Memory: Getting to see my lovely Erin and G, it makes the world of difference when I’m stuck at home.

Accomplishment: This will have to be going for tapas and not having a total meltdown! A big F you to my eating disorder and a big step forward in my recovery!!


This month was lovely, intense, hard, and all the emotions in between, balancing the socialising, travelling, full time working, weekly hospital appointments and regular flare ups, it’s all getting a bit much!

So please in advance accept my apologies for the potential lack in posts over the next month or two. I’m about to hit a very crucial point in my eating disorder recovery process and I need to give it 110%, so I’m possibly going to have to put the blog on the back burner for the foreseeable as my recovery is my main priority right now.

I hope you all had a beautiful July and I will see you soon,

All of my love as always,

Journaling Maddie 

xxxx

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Travelling Maddie: Christchurch

Max and I finally got our well deserved week away not too long ago and I documented pretty much the whole thing. We had such a lovely time and I think documenting it to look over for years to come is such a sweet idea!!

Monday 17th July - 

Today is the day and after a great nights sleep we are ready and raring to get on the road! The car is all packed and we are making sure we have all the essentials before we head off, and figuring out the route as we are going via Luton (aka the long way) to drop Max's mom at the airport for her trip to Paris!

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We are finally here! It took longer than expected due to traffic on the motorway, but it wasn't too awful thankfully. All unpacked and about to go do a big food shop for the week. The caravan belongs to my grandparents, I have been visiting this site for the past 19 years with family so it is really lovely for Max and myself to have a week here alone too so he can enjoy it as much as we all have done!

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Food shop done and unloaded, we aren't wasting any time and are about to walk down to the beach, around a 15 minute walk from the caravan site. We have lovely sunshine and the idea of spending another 5 minutes indoors seems crazy!

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Dinner was a nice and simple one tonight – pasta bake! I made enough for tomorrow too, as we have planned a day trip to Brownsea Island as it looks like it will be our nicest day, and have to take a picnic.

 

Tuesday 18th July - 

We woke up relatively early considering how full on yesterday was. Showered, breakfast ate (croissants for me – it's a caravan tradition for me ever since I can remember, and Cheerios and toast for Max) and picnic packed up! Route all in on Google Maps and we are ready to head off on our little adventure.

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We parked up in the Sandbanks area and got on the short boat ride to Brownsea Island. Max felt a little sick but thankfully we were literally on it for about 10 minutes!

The weather is insane, 32 degrees and beautiful sunshine – definitely the perfect day for this trip!

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We walked around for around 2 hours, taking photos and soaking up some culture, before stopping to eat our picnic. The pasta bake was really yummy but Max had also made sandwiches which weren't as good, but I think they'd just gone a bit soggy in the bag haha. We carried on, walking down to the mini beach, which used to have a pottery kiln, and the remains were incredible! You walk down onto the beach and it is just scattered with thousands upon thousands of pieces of smashed pottery – it was such a strange thing to stumble across!

After 2 more hours it was time to go home, Max grabbed some fudge from the gift shop because what seaside trip is complete without fudge?!

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Before we know it we are on the boat, back at Sandbanks and still have an hour or so on our parking, so we headed to the beach and stopped off for some chips and coffee, before going to look at the boating harbour, taking more photos and heading off back to the caravan.

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We just got back – and the timing couldn't have been anymore perfect! 2 minutes after walking into the van, an almighty storm begun!! We're snuggled up in the cosy caravan and watching the storm unfold, it is crazy seeing the lightning illuminate the whole van.

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Once the storm passed, we went for a walk on the beach, we were the only ones there, as far as we could see along the coast, which isn't surprising after that storm. We didn't stay for too long as we could feel it was going to start again. Once again, perfect timing – we got back and the storm started again worse than before! We attempted to watch Love Island but the storm was too bad and the signal kept dropping, much to my dismay haha.

 

Wednesday 19th July - 

Today has been a super lazy day, so not much to report! We had a good lie in because the weather was pants, made fajitas (ultimate comfort food) then went to Castle Point shopping centre for a walk around to kill some time.

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Once the storms cleared, we went to the beach again for our evening walk. There were loads of boats on the sea so Max loved snapping some pics of them!

 

Thursday 20th July - 

Today we are going on another day trip, this time to Durdle Door, and in all of my years holidaying in Bournemouth, I have never visited Durdle, and it was Max's idea as he went as a child and loved it!

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I made us up a picnic again, this time we opted for rice and salad boxes, then packed the car up and we were on our way.

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Durdle Door is simply stunning.

I am so glad however that my crutches were in the car, because upon arrival not only did I step out the car and my knee popped out of place, but it is such a steep walk down to the door! We took our time but we made it in one piece. Stopping at several different points to take photos and soak it all in, we truly made a day out of it.

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When we got down to the beach we had a lay down in the sunshine to the sound of the waves crashing around us.

There were also lots of dogs, so, day automatically made!!!

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Once we were done at Durdle, we had the task of getting back up the hill, but again, we did it and arrived back at the car in one piece. We sat in the car and ate our lunch, then drove for 10 minutes and arrived at Lulworth Cove.

Although Lulworth Cove itself wasn't as impressive as Durdle Door, it was still a lovely place to sit and chill out. We grabbed some ice-cream & sorbet and enjoyed some more of the sunshine before getting back in the car to drive home.

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We missed out on our evening walk to the beach tonight, we got all ready to go then decided we didn't fancy the longer walk, so instead just went on a little wander around the caravan site. Was 100% worth it because we bumped into a dog, so beautiful, a deer hound / whippet mix!

Back to the caravan for dinner and an early night.

 

Friday 21st July - 

It. is. early. We did not want to get up but breakfast at The Noisy Lobster is calling our names!

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Breakfast was incredible and definitely worth getting up for! The weather is a bit pants again so I think we are gonna go for a nap and see what we are thinking afterwards what we plan to do with today!

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So we are up and lunch has been eaten! We have decided to get in the car and go explore Bournemouth for the afternoon.

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It started raining as soon as we arrived – typical! We went into the cathedral, then had a wander around some shops. I may have brought a new monthly planner…oops! Max got a record (John Mayer – Battle Studies, what an album!!) and we are now currently in Starbucks warming up over some hot coffee.

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We are having a bit of a film night, have just finished watching "Garden State" and are starting on "Pulp Fiction" before Love Island starts! A proper lazy evening fuelled by pizza and alcohol. 

 

Saturday 22nd July - 

Another major lie in today, I woke up feeling a little down but I think it's all this crappy weather!

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We finally got out and my mood finally lifted. Another trip to Castle Point was much needed and we had so much fun just going around shops, goofing around and enjoying each other's company. When we got home I made us lasagne for dinner, another ultimate comfort food, had a good long chat and such a laugh, I am so happy to be on holiday with my best friend and sad that it's almost over!

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We are off to the beeeeaaach!

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So, that was a bit of a nightmare haha! We decided to walk a different way home because we wanted to walk a little longer. This wouldn't have been too awful, however it suddenly went pitch black, a storm begun and we realised we were lost with no internet to navigate our way home. Max was a bit annoyed to begin with but we ended up having so much fun, trying to find our way back in the midst of a storm, jumping up and down in massive puddles trying to soak each other!

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When we finally found our way home I jumped straight in the shower – not that I needed to as the rain had done a fine job of doing it all for me! Then snuggled up in bed.

 

Sunday 23rd July –

It is 4:30am. I am not even joking. 

I had the bright idea last night to get up and watch the sunrise this morning over the beach, so that is exactly what we are going to do!

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That was stunning. It felt so liberating and as cliche and it sounds, I just felt so alive!! That is until we got home and crashed straight back out again hahaha. We just woke up and it's 10am, so still plenty of time left with this day.

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We have decided to walk up to Highcliffe Castle, the weather isn't amazing but the walk is lovely and it's the perfect excuse to get out again!

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So, we just arrived at the castle and there is a brass band playing! Max is grabbing himself a coffee and some cake, then we are going to sit outside and enjoy some live music. Max was saying we always seem to stumble across these things, and he's so right! Today was going to be lovely regardless, but it's those little surprises that make them even more special!

I can't believe tomorrow is our last day – this week has gone way too fast!

 

Monday 24th July - 

We are on our way home!

Today has been lovely, we packed up the car, cleaned then jumped straight into the car and off to enjoy the beach one last time.

We took some last photos, enjoyed some ice-cream and then got on the road ready for our long journey home, again via Luton!

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It has been a lovely break from everything and I am so glad I shared it all with Max, although this week wouldn't have been possible without the caravan, it also wouldn't have been possible without him driving us all over the place, and his great ideas for what to fill our days with. I will always treasure times like these, and I really hope we return next summer too. Our next holiday will be Christmas time, we have booked to go to Spain and I am really excited, but before then there are lots of other exciting things that we have planned and I feel so lucky to share all of these moments with Max, and to be able to document them makes them all the more special for me.

 

M x

 

 

July faves

Favourite…

Album: Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

Song: Boredom – Tyler, the Creator

TV / Movie: Love Island

Place: Our cosy Christchurch caravan

Memory: We were driving back to the caravan and Max pulled into a lane behind a bunch of cars, sat in what he thought was “traffic” for a few minutes before realising we were in fact just sat behind a load of parked cars hahaha

Food: Raspberry sorbet (daaank)

Drink: I have always loved wine but this month I think I have drank wine a lot more than usual haha (promise I don’t have a problem)

Photo: 

(Max & I got up at 4 am to watch the sunrise on the beach and it was incredible)

Accomplishment: On mine and max’s trip to the caravan we went to Brownsea Island and I was on my feet walking for a solid 7 hours, which really is a personal accomplishment for me as I struggle walking for too long without the help of walking aids or going into a joint flare up (I sure as hell paid for it the following day haha but it was so so soooo worth it and I am really proud of myself!).

 

 

 

July in photos 

July has been a rather pleasant month! It has been really busy, and I decided to add to that factor by starting my online journal. I feel like I have accomplished many things in July, as well as tackling lows and highs, enjoying a well deserved break, having alone time and precious time spent with family and friends.

Pre-warning – this photo log is 90% holiday snaps!

 

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Me & Lyds at her graduation

 

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best graduation photo ever??

 

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Brownsea Island

 

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long doggo

 

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noisy lobster breakfast date

 

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Brownsea Island (I'm not the best at smiling haha)

 

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Starbucks date

 

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Brownsea Island

 

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my love

 

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beach walks

 

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evening stroll

 

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Durdle Door

 

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we got up at 4am to watch the sunrise and it did not disappoint

 

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my beautiful sister at her graduation

 

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my pup

 

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curry night with the guys

 

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post curry night

 

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ferry to Brownsea!

 

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that view!

 

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what even is my boyfriend?

 

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chips and coffee stop at Sandbanks

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sunrise

 

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so so pretty

 

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is it really me if I don't have a trip to A&E?

 

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watching the sun change from my favourite spot in the apartment

 

M x

July playlist

July has been the month for me and music!! I've loved so many new releases but also I discovered loads of old tunes accidentally from when I went on holiday to the caravan in 2003 (so I was 8 years old when originally listening to some of these songs haha), through the compilation CD "New Woman – The New Collection 2003" gifted to me by a family friend all those years ago.

So sit back and enjoy this months playlist, full of brand new releases and some old hits!

July playlist

Holiday – Calvin Harris, Snoop Dogg, John Legend & Takeoff

Heatstroke – Calvin Harris, Yung Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande

Feels – Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean

Dude – Beenie Man ft. Ms. Thing

Breathe – Blu Cantrell & Sean Paul

No Letting Go – Wayne Wonder

What A Girl Wants – Christina Aguilera

Waterfalls – TLC

Beautiful – Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell Williams & Uncle Charlie Wilson

Something Beautiful – Robbie Williams

Not That Kind – Anastacia

Thank You – Dido

Anyone Of Us – Gareth Gates

Passionfruit – Drake

Boredom – Tyler, the Creator

Bad Liar – Selena Gomez (such a guilty pleasure haha)

On My Mind – Disciples

listen to it here!!!

M x

 

 

 

July 15 – a funeral, a graduation and a lot of wine

Boy oh boy has it been a long week!

Starting with the journey from Manchester to Birmingham, leaving myself less than 24 hours to get ready for Essex, this has been one hectic week.

Max drove us down to Essex on Monday as it was his granddad’s funeral on the Tuesday morning. The funeral was sad, as you’d imagine, but it was also so beautifully done with a lovely group of important people to the family in attendance, a bugler performing The Last Post and a fitting tribute from Max’s dad.

The wake was incredible, Max had dug out some old slide film and standard 8 films full of beautiful family memories from when his father was a child, so we all sat around and watched the home movies, and looking through the slide films, whilst people ate, drank and shared happy memories of Max’s granddad.

So the week started off emotionally draining that’s for sure, with a jam packed 3 days in Essex sorting bits and bobs out at the bungalow.

We arrived back in Birmingham on Wednesday evening faced with the task of what to wear to my sister’s graduation. Whatever I put on that I liked my mom said “not quite right” or “no definitely not that one”, so we settled for a dress that she loved and I had lukewarm feelings towards – but never mind!

Bright and early on Thursday morning Max and I got up and started to get ready, having to eat our lunch at 10:30am as that was the last opportunity we’d have to eat before 6:30pm (something that wouldn’t phase me but I was worried how Max was going to go 8 hours without eating anything)! We got into our “smarts” and got on the train with my nan from Tamworth to Derby, where the ceremony would be taking place.

Max and I got our tickets very last minute so had received balcony tickets, but when we arrived they said for us to try and find spare seats in the main hall, because we were the only two sat up there!! The staff were so accommodating and they kept laughing and joking saying they’d been waiting for us and that we would get the best personal treatment with them as it was only us hahaha. But thankfully we found some seats in the main hall so that we could actually see my sister graduate!

The ceremony wasn’t as long as I thought it would be, however my hands got tired very fast after clapping for a few hundred graduates. When it was finally my sister’s turn, the tension was building, she was worried she was going to trip and fall etc., but no, she handled it incredibly well, a flawless walk across the stage, but the guy announcing the names pronounced her name wrong!! How?! I could maybe see getting confused with the first name “Lydia”, but “Parsons”?!?! Really?! How do you mispronounce Parsons??

Regardless of the name blunder, we had a fantastic day, took lots of photos (many of which will feature in my July photo series I’m sure) and had an amazing meal at Fat Cat, well worth waiting 8 hours for, and one too many cocktails (but they were just so good!!) with the family, and the families of Lydia’s two best friends from uni!

We went home and crashed out haha! We were absolutely ruined, so so tired, but allowed ourselves a little lie in on Friday morning, surfacing and going into town to grab some food and drink for the weekend.

I had not seen my two closest school friends for about 4 or 5 months, which is really rubbish and we find it so hard to catch up often with me being in Manchester, G being in Birmingham working hard for her families company, and Erin being a total rockstar at the moment absolutely smashing festival season! So we all managed to free an evening for a long awaited catch up!

Max and I hosted the evening and had the girls around and made food and brought lots of wine (which mainly got drunk by me and Erin haha). It was so nice just to sit and talk for hours, eating good food and drinking cheap wine, with some amazing company!

Last night again we totally crashed out, exhausted after the long day we’d had.

Waking up this morning, I have another list as long as my arm to complete:

  1. Clean up from last nights festivities
  2. Walk Lady (my dog)
  3. Start packing to go to Bournemouth!!
  4. Wake Max up (it’s alright for some, I’ve been up since 6am!)
  5. Plan things we want to do when we get to Bournemouth
  6. Fake tan (not essential, but kinda essential)
  7. Plan and schedule blogs for the next week or so as I will be without internet
  8. Meet up with more people before Monday
  9. Find my camera charger (oops)

 

I hope you have had a lovely week, and I hope even more that it wasn’t as hectic as mine!

M x

 

oh what a week

I’ve had such an intense week and it really feels like its been non stop! Its just been super dull long tasks that felt never ending but today I’m on my drive back to Birmingham for a little while so it has all come to a halt!

The week started with slogging around the flat during the day, mainly just sat on the balcony enjoying this beautiful sunshine that we so rarely get in Manchester (convinced I was slowly tanning but apparently I’m still as pale as ever)!

All week I was putting off two tasks, one – finding the perfect graduation card for my sister, and two – packing for a funeral, said graduation and a holiday.

 

I managed to get Sara to come with me into town to find a card for my sister by telling her we were going to Paperchase (who can seriously say no to a Paperchase outing?!). We spent quite a while there as the sale was on, but I left with just a graduation card, some quirky postcards perfect for featured photos, and a mug for Max (because all he does is complain he doesn’t have “his own” mug at my apartment) which has an elephant on it and says “Wanna see my trunk?” for like a quid instead of £7 so that was a bargain! Sara on the other hand was properly lured in by the sales and went a little crazy!

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We then decided to make a bit of a day of it, and went around some other sales, including the dreaded Urban Outfitters sale, with 90% of the items still being mega over priced and out of budget, but I did manage to pick up a cute striped crop top that I completely fell in love with.

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As if we hadn’t already spent enough money, we decided to treat ourselves to the Pizza Hut lunch buffet (the best lunch buffet in history, maybe).

 

Throughout the week I’ve had several visits from the “oven man”, as he so eloquently refers to himself on text, because the oven decided to die, then the grill, then the oven again. I was home alone for the most part of the week so it was kinda nice to have the company instead of talking to myself like a mad woman!

 

After much procrastinating, I started to pack my stuff up. I hate packing and usually do it the night before so I don’t overthink it too much, but with so many different events and occasions coming up over the next few weeks, I actually had to plan this one out.

Taking it all in the car home right now honestly feels like I’m moving out! I usually just stuff my clothes in a couple of rucksacks but mom insisted on me packing my clothes into boxes, so I’m currently sat squashed in the back of the car surrounded by 12 (yes, 12) boxes of clothes, shoes and necessities. I am yet to work out how to bring this all back up on the train, though mind.

 

I have also had a super busy week with work. I distribute leaflets for several companies outside venues promoting gigs and all that jazz! I mainly work late evenings for an hour or so. The pay is good and also means that if I want a day time job in the future then I can easily do both! I usually only get a couple of shifts a week, but this week has been a bit on the hectic side, as MIF (Manchester international festival) was taking place meaning there were loads more events on than normal, so I worked 8 shifts this week, 3 of them being in one day! It’s a fun job and I quite enjoy walking around Manchester to new and different venues having a mini solo adventure haha!

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But seriously, I feel like yesterday killed.me.off.

It was such a hot day which is a bad start for me anyways because it sets my POTs through the roof! But yes, hot day combined with flyering with no shade, walking to and from venues, and trying to finish packing / cleaning in between totally ruined me. Then to top it off I really struggled to sleep – even though I was shattered (logic, please?)! So waking up this morning was a real struggle but I got up with good time, finished packing and met my parents!

 

We went for food at the Botanist for a Sunday lunch, which was daaaaank! Then got back to the flat and packed the car up, and are now currently on our way home!

It feels odd going back to Birmingham after so long, I am so happy in Manchester and feel a little down about going back, but to be honest, I will hardly be home!

I go to Essex first thing tomorrow until Wednesday, then Thursday we are off to Derby for Lydia’s Graduation, a weekend at home (but it’s already full of plans meeting people and packing – again) then off to our caravan in Bournemouth for a week with Max, and then once we are back, I am heading straight back to Manchester, so a pretty hectic few weeks to say the least!

 

Soundtrack to my journey home started with Haim’s new album, but then I got sick of the Spotify app because I’m on the free version and it stresses me out haha, so I listened to the whole of the Believe album because I forgot I had the Purpose album saved on my laptop (part time Justin Bieber fan, sorry not sorry), and now I’m listening to that since I realised I had it!

 

Just realised I’ve been typing away for quite a little while, so I’m going to stop here!

 

I hope you have had a fabulous week!

 

M x