My Weight Loss Story, Part One: The moment I started ‘having issues’ with my body

I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for almost a year now. I’ve been coming up with excuses not to post it from ‘I’ll post it when I’ve finished my journey’ and ‘I can’t post it yet, it’s not the right time of year’ to ‘this is garbage, I will never post it’. I’ve decided to bite the bullet and go for it (and close my eyes really tight and hope for the best).

I’ve referenced my on-going weight loss and self-love journey in a few posts but I’ve never actually sat down and written about it. So I’m going to. It’s a break from the normal bookish and occasional creative posts and I wouldn’t be offended if you skip it, but it’s an important post to write.

It’s important for two reasons: 1) so that I can look back at it and see how far I’ve come, I would like to have a record of it and 2) because things like this should be talked about. So many people struggle with body-image and weight and eating, the more stories that are out there, the more people they can possibly help.

On that note, I am going to include a TRIGGER WARNINGThis post will talk about body-imageself-love, and eating habits. If reading about these things affects you, please don’t read on. Out of courtesy for those who might be triggered by my story, all of my journey posts will continue under a cut.

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10 things that have made me happy recently

img_9274I want to spread some joy, I also love writing about myself (because I am vain and I like to think I am good at it) so I thought I would combine the two. I intend to make this a regular thing. Lots of things make me happy, and it will be a nice little catalogue to look back at on my down days which could never be a bad thing.

So, here are 10 things that have done a lot for my mood recently. A lot of them are simple and random but, often, the best things are.

1. A little cat named Sergeant Pepper.

img_9155Back in December, it snowed pretty badly. We’d been feeding a cat for a while, it would come and visit us almost every day and we’d been seeing it for months and months and months. It was such a friendly little critter, and it was always really happy to see us (my boyfriend would always say “Can we have him?” and look hopefully at me when trotted over to us). We couldn’t bear the thought of our little friend being out in the snow with nowhere warm to go so we invited him up to our flat. (Though, we thought he was a she at this point and had spent many months calling him a beautiful girl. Whoops.)

img_8807He stayed with us for two weeks before we were able to take him to the vets (there were many hijinks involving cat carriers and the like). I was checking all of the lost pet pages and websites for my area just in case anyone was looking for him, and I kept an eye out for posters around our estate, but no one was looking for him, if he had a home they didn’t want him anymore. The vet scanned him all over for a microchip and, luckily for us, he didn’t have one. (Though I would have been happy to reunite him with his family, I would have been devastated if he had a chip – I fell in love with him as soon as he made it inside the flat!)

img_8658As he had been with us for seven days without anyone claiming him and he didn’t have a chip, we were allowed to keep him. Hooray! We think he’s about 6 years old, and he may have been hit by a car because his mouth is a little bit messed up (he’s having at least one tooth removed later this month), and he may have limited vision in one eye. He’s a little bit wonky and I love him very much.

I’m sure my loved ones are fed up of my constant prattling about him but he is the best and I feel so lucky to have him.

2. Vanilla Chai Tea.

Vanilla Chai is my tea of choice, to the point where I am now a little bit disappointed when I am met with a normal cup of tea because I expect it to taste and smell like vanilla chai. Spoiler alert: it never does.

It’s such a lovely flavour. It’s so autumnal and warm, with its wintry cousin Spiced Chai they are my perfect cosy drinks.

I have two honourable mentions in this section and they are thus: Coconut chai tea, my other half bought me coconut chai loose leaf tea yonks ago but I could never drink it because I cannot handle bits in my drinks and the infuser I have always leaks, luckily I found some empty tea bags on Amazon so I was finally able to try it properly (it is delicious); OGX limited edition Vanilla Chai shampoo and conditioner, this stuff smells incredible, so incredible that I panic bought some more so that I can use it for as long as possible before I have to wave a sad goodbye.

tenor (1)

3. Owning a slow cooker.

img_8933My lovely, lovely parents bought me a slow cooker for Christmas and it has changed my life. I am still eating the Slimming World way and I have long been wanting to try slow cooker recipes but I lacked a vital component: the slow cooker.

I’ve only cooked a few things in it so far but they have been a success and I am raring to try more. I have recently fallen in love with cooking again after several months of being lazy and living mostly on giant vats of plain pasta (I love pasta, I am a carb fiend and I always will be); since early January, I have been trying out at least one new recipe every week to try to keep things interesting while I continue on my meandering weightloss journey, and I would recommend it to everyone. Widen your food horizons, you might surprise yourself.

On a related note: my other half does not eat the same food I do, and I love not having to share my food. It is wonderful knowing that you have leftovers in the fridge. It is even more wonderful when you know with complete certainty, that they will still be there when you want to eat them.

4. My boyfriend talking in his sleep.

My other half is a very deep sleeper but if you catch him just as he’s falling asleep (which can sometimes occur while you are on the phone) you get a little insight into his pink elephant dreams and the results are often rather funny. So far in 2018, we have only had one Sleep Talking Scott moment but it was beautiful:

“Don’t let the onions and pickles [mumble mumble mumble]..”

Don’t let the onions and the pickles what? What are they doing?

“They’re trying to infiltrate my burger.”

Oh.

Sometime later after a fairly large interval of silence, he uttered but one word…

“Cheese!”

5. The End of the Day by Claire North.

img_9038The book I am slowly reading. I hit a reading slump last year which I have been struggling to get out of. I put a lot of pressure on myself to read more, and it worked for a while, I read more than I had read in the entirety of 2016 in the first few months of 2017 but then I hit a snag and haven’t been able to find anything new that I wanted to read. There are a lot of books I want to read but I had trouble finding one I wanted to read right then and there.

The End of the Day seems to be that book. It’s taking me a while but I am getting there and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I will hopefully be reviewing it in the coming weeks, or however long it takes me to finish (I refuse to rush myself) but for now I will leave you with its tagline:

Sooner or later, Death visits everyone. Before that, they meet Charlie.

Is that a hook or what?

6. High-waisted skinny jeans.

img_8134Up until recently, I never thought I would wear skinny jeans. I never thought I would wear high-waisted jeans either, I tried some on yonks ago and they looked horrendous and felt uncomfortable. When I was at my biggest, I was too scared to buy jeans because clothes sizes frightened me (and made me very, very sad) so I just didn’t try. Recently, I got to a size I was happy enough to take the chance with and now I am the proud owner of several pairs of skinny jeans, two of which are high-waisted. I love them. They make my legs look so good. I live in them now.

7. I found my first half-a-grey hair.

This is a weird one. For most people, finding a grey hair is a bad thing, and I thought it would be for me too. I don’t know whether it was because it was only half a hair or because it looked white rather than grey (and for a dark haired person, the idea of white hair is quite exciting, just think of all the bright coloured dye you could use without having to bleach your hair to death beforehand!) but it made me happy just the same.

I even saved the hair in my phone case so I could proudly show the other half when we both finished work. Oh, Elou.

8. Pepsi Max in glass bottles.

It just tastes so much better from glass. So much better.

tenor

9. Giftcards.

I get a fair amount of giftcards for birthdays and Christmases. I ask for them because A) books are expensive and B) I am losing weight and thus want and need to buy new clothes. Adulting takes money so I sometimes feel guilty for spending mine on things I don’t need, receiving giftcards takes the guilt away from buying things I just want. So thank you to all of my friends and family for your kind, kind donations to my shopping problem. (Giftcards are why I own jeans now, they are a blessing.)

giphy

10. The word ‘ochre’.

I wrote it in something the other day and it has been stuck in my head ever since. It is such a satisfying word. It sounds warm and rich and I love saying it.


What has made you happy recently? Feel free to join in! 

If you’re reading this, I tag you.

I am made up of flaws

When I was younger, I wanted braces and glasses. (I always thought they looked cool.) I have glasses (and love them) and I had braces on my top teeth for six months. Childhood dreams achieved.

Now, I want freckles and red hair. Mainly because they look wonderful in photos. Red hair is the sign of a soul full of fire and freckles are the tiny marks left behind when magic has come into contact with skin. Red hair and freckles are magic made real.

I will never have freckles and I highly doubt red hair would look good on me. This is something I have come to accept. Begrudgingly.

I am not stereotypically pretty (if such a thing exists, for the sake of argument, we are saying it does). I have never been told I should model, and I have never had much attention because of the way my face looks. I am awkward; one of my eyes is bigger than the other (a thing which is alarmingly obvious in the photograph on my driving license), my hair is always scraggly and split at the ends even when I’ve just had it cut, my shoulders are wonky and my neck is slanted. I have a birthmark on my lip (which I adore) that everyone assumes is a bruise or a cut, it goes a deeper blue when I am cold. My eyebrows are very rarely perfectly plucked and I am terrible at most make-up (winged eyeliner, however, I can do… sometimes), I don’t wear it often. I don’t moisturise my face when I should, and I very rarely remember to use the fancy, expensive face stuff I bought for myself for my twenty-sixth birthday.

Sometimes I don’t brush my hair, instead, I put it in a bun or plaits when it’s wet and leave it like that for a day until it looks like I’ve put a lot of effort in to make my hair wavy or curly. My hair hates being washed too much, and certain shampoo makes it feel gummy and disgusting (now that I’ve worked out what particular shampoo that is, I avoid it). Dry shampoo is my friend.

During the week, I put absolutely no effort into my outfits, I pull a top and some leggings off of the giant mound of clothes on my bedroom floor that I really should sort through and hang up. I get up 15-30 minutes before I need to leave for work. I very rarely clean my glasses, and am permanently seeing the world through a smear. As soon as I get home, now that I own a cat who has very fluffy fur and definitely no regard for where he sheds it, I change into lounge pants and one of my designated ‘cat tops’. When it’s cold, I wear a lot of hats and my hair goes even more flat than it already is (I have very fine hair, I often wish that one day I will wake up and it will be gloriously thick and shiny but it won’t, and I will always look like I am going slightly bald even though I’m not), sometimes I wear my hats all day, right up until I go to bed, until my head feels like it’s still wearing it even an hour after I’ve taken it off.

I procrastinate like nothing else. I get determined to do things and then find ways to sabotage myself. Updating this blog being one of those things (but in my defense, have you ever tried to blog on a computer that is attached to a giant TV across the other side of the room? I have, and it is neither pleasant nor enjoyable – now I have a beautiful little laptop which is just for blogging and writing and all manner of wordy things.), I am, once again, going to attempt to do better.

My nails are always stubby and short and bitten jagged, even though I adore the look of black nail varnish. That is another thing I am trying to curb. So far it’s working, soon my nails will be painted black and I will look that little bit more snazzy and that little bit closer to the me that I see in my head, who looks a little bit witchy and a little bit cool and like she has her life together. (Sometimes I have the oomph to look like that. Sometimes.)

When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate the paleness of my skin and the dark brown of my hair. Even though, in my more whimsical moments, I want to paint myself with freckles (I really should learn how to do the freckle make-up, another bit of girlishness that I will be absolutely terrible at), I love being pale and I love having dark hair. (But that doesn’t mean I won’t dye it again, I proabably will.) I love my face sometimes, and I love it when my hair dries just right.

I don’t know how to end blog entries, especially long overdue blog entries.

March: Instagram Highlights

A new kind of post, hello. I’ve wanted to do these for a while, a little round-up of my favourite images from my main Instagram this month. There are lots because it was so busy! It was also my birthday, so that helps.

Highlights include: puppy cuddles, excellent books, an artsy throwback, unashamed selfies galore, an artistic accident at work, launch snippets, and birthday presents.

If you want to follow, you can do so here.

In which I found a crack in the Universe

Or at the very least, imagined a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

Hello, bloglings of varying shapes, sizes and mythical denominations. It has become increasingly obvious to me that I may have stumbled across a crack in the universe and now she’s trying her hardest to fill it in, to make me either forget about it or to convince me I am a little bit nuts and have made-up memories. Either way, it’s working, so here I am writing a blog post about it.

I realise that this all sounds a bit mad, so I am going to explain myself.

Circa 2011/2012 I was given a copy of the leatherbound Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions). It is a beautiful edition, which currently resides at my parents’ house due to my severe lack bookshelves and space to put bookshelves. I vividly remember flicking through this book in my bedroom the aforementioned parents’ house, I remember the room’s dark purples and limited light adding an ambience to the whole thing. I remember feeling the pages in my hands and flipping it open to a random point in the book.

I remember a very short poem. Shorter than any Poe I had ever read previously. It was about a grave/death. A woman being in the ground. I remember nothing else about this poem. I so vividly remember finding it and being so in love with it. I remember adding it to my profile on Elftown, my once upon a time internet hang-out. Naturally, I deleted it at some point so it is no longer there to find.

No one I know who enjoys Mister Poe seemed to be aware of this poem’s existence. Google searching phrases like ‘shortest Edgar Allan Poe poem’ yields stanzas upon stanzas and nothing even nearly as short as I remember. This had been haunting me for years but anytime I was near enough my copy of the book to check, I’d forgotten that it was bothering me. Clearly, the universe didn’t want me to know something.

To that, I say screw you, universe! (I’m kidding, I love you really, you contain the stars and the planets and the moon and I find all of those things fascinating and inspiring and terrible – the great unknown is always terrible – in equal measure.)

This story has a happy ending, though. I’ve had spurts of looking for this poem and failing for the last few years, and I’ve never progressed in my search. Until now. While ranting to my best friend, who humours all of my weird and wonderful ways and knows exactly when to offer sympathy even though I am being ridiculous, I suddenly had a vague flicker of memory which I have never had before. I was suddenly struck with the knowledge that one of the words in the poem was ‘earth’ and another was ‘deep’. In all my years of searching, I’ve never had any inkling of the contents except for a vague understanding of the theme (grave/death, woman – or so I presumed anyway).

The universe has finally decided I am ready.

It is with thanks to the universe (and a hope that the universe is not offended by my earlier comment), that I present to you my favourite poem which was found scribbled in the margins of the manuscript for ‘Eulalie’.

Deep in Earth (1847)

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone.

On insta-love

Greetings, greetings, one and all. This is a bit of a weird one, bear with me though because I think it’s worth reading. (Well, would, I am the one writing it.)

Insta-love. Not the kind you show on instagram by liking as many of someone’s photos as is humanly possible in one sitting (though, that can be good) but the kind you see in books and movies. Often hailed as unrealistic and annoying and a plot-ruiner.

Well, I have a confession to make on that front.

It’s not that unrealistic. (Controversial?) Sure, if it’s terribly written or portrayed and you’re getting no feeling from either character, I can understand it ruining everything. But as a thing, on the whole, it’s not that bad. Love is weird and it’s different for everyone. This is common knowledge. A love being different to the love I experience, doesn’t make that love invalid and I would never dream of saying it does so why do we assume insta-love isn’t a thing?

Why am I writing about this? Why am I defending insta-love? Well, quite simply, because I feel it myself. Perhaps not full-blown cherubs-with-trumpets-I-want-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-you-immediately love but it’s very fast.

Context: I met my boyfriend through online dating, we spoke for maybe a week before we met each other in person. We spent a day together and before he went home, I ended up deciding ‘Yup, this is the person I want to be with.’ (If we’re being completely honest, I decided that about an hour into the day.) He agreed. And so we officially became a thing. I didn’t need a second date to know that he was who I wanted, or that a relationship with him was both what I wanted and right for me at the time. Over a year and a half later, and here we still are, living together harmoniously in a little flat on the top of a hill.

I can’t ‘date’. I don’t see the point in devoting time to someone I don’t see or want a future with. If I decide to be with someone it’s because I’m in it for the long-haul from day one. When I was doing the online dating thing, if I felt a strong connection with someone (like my other half) I would cease talking to anyone else on that platform until I had confirmed whether it was something both of us wanted to pursue.

I feel very quickly and very deeply – I felt strong feelings for my other half before we even met. I am exactly the kind of character that gets complained about for being unrealistic but does my existence not make all of those claims a little bit false? Sure, it might be annoying as hell, and it might be difficult to understand if it’s not something you go through, but it’s very much a real thing.

It’s not all sunshine and roses, it hurts when it goes wrong – especially when it goes wrong after a short period of time and the people around you can’t quite understand why you’re so upset about it. That side of things, I think, needs to be explored more. I’m all for happy, wonderful love stories but I’m also all for raw, emotional, painful, not-quite love stories.

A lot of the complaints about it come from young adult fiction, and TV shows and films aimed at teenagers but it’s very much something that teenagers go through. I had so many dramatic unrequited teenage crushes and my teenage relationship(s), other than being a train-wreck, were very much that immediate, sickly sweet kind and so were many of the other teen relationships going on around me. What’s important, I think, is that books/films/shows that deal in insta-love should also deal with how to react healthily to it ending. There are so few stories that I know of that can be used as an example of a healthy way of dealing with a break-up, if you know any, do share them.

Is it just me? Am I the only person on this planet who gets insta-love and doesn’t revile it on principle? Am I speaking into the void?

The One Where I Return to the Internet, Again

Hello. I come to you this time not with apologies or excuses for my random disappearance, but with an explanation of my planned absence. Yep. You read that correctly, it was planned! I didn’t announce it but I planned it. (Though, it is probably not a coincidence that I planned it before my entry for The Goblet of Fire, as I will explain in the next entry, which will be that one.) I probably should have announced it but I didn’t want to give myself a date to be back by, I wanted to come back when I felt ready to.

In May, I left the world of commuting to and from London, working for a publisher and living in pretty little Oxfordshire. I had a big life change, and I needed time to get used to it.

Back in April, I was offered a job designing t-shirts in the West Midlands (book-themed, politics, pop culture, sport, you name it, and I probably do it). It seemed fun so I went for it. The location meant that I was able to move in with my long-suffering other half (long-suffering because he has to deal with me 24/7 now). I’ve been working there for three months now and the creativity is fab, it’s evolved from just t-shirts to stationery and social media and all sorts of things I didn’t think I would be doing. I even designed some wrapping paper!

My publishing job was the first job I ever really had so this is both the first time I’ve had a job move but also the first time I have moved in with a partner – everything in my life changed all at once, it wasn’t quite as overwhelming as I thought it would be.

In July, after over a year and a half of lessons (and a whole lot of emotions), I passed my driving test first time! I moved my beautiful car up to the West Midlands in August, and had the shock of my life when I dealt with my first really steep hill. Luckily, I’ve got the hang of them now, after a little bit of self doubt and wondering why, oh why, they had let me pass my test.

A bit later in July, I decided to embark on a journey. A Slimming World journey. If you follow my Tumblr, you may have seen some body image posts in the past. I’ve struggled with my body for a long time, lost lots of weight in short periods of time by being very, very unhealthy and then put it back on again and then some when I got comfortable. I’ve resolved not to do that anymore. Slimming World is excellent, I am a fair way away from my target but I feel healthier and I am eating excellent food. I may post about my food at some point. I have since set up an Instagram devoted to my SW journey, it’s mostly food, but if you want to follow it, you can find it here.

What else has happened? I’m currently working on my second bit of wedding editing of the year, the third will come in November. Both weddings were lovely and I may post about them in the future.

All in all, I’ve been super busy, and I finally feel like my life is settling into a routine, and blogging can be part of it again.

On being grateful

Over the last week, my often-mentioned, very talented friend Mike Medaglia announced his next book in the wonderfully successful One Year Wiser series. The simply and aptly named One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal does what it says on the tin. It is a journal that allows you space to write one years’ worth of things you are grateful for alongside quotes and other fun things.

And that’s what poetry is. A human attempt to comprehend and share personal experiences of the things that exist just beyond our perception and comprehension.
Mike Medaglia on Poetry and Wonder from The Mindful Life Illustrated

This announcement, along with Mike’s Mindful Life Illustrated Elephant Journal posts on all things mindfulness, gratitude and generally living well, spiritually and mentally, has made me think of all of the things I am thankful for. Well, actually, the thing that triggered my thinking was a beautiful sunset on the way home from work but then I was reminded of Mike, then I matched that with a video I watched last night by Carrie Hope Fletcher and then that spiralled into everything else and so we ended up here. You and me, on this blog.

If you’ve read Mike’s writing, you know that it has the power to make you think about things, really think about things (and if you haven’t, you should). And so, thinking about things, I am. So, without further ado and pomp, I present to you:

A little ramble of things I am thankful for

How to survive a funeral

If you look, see a
box. Cry
for the melting snow.
For the flowers,
miscarriages of colour
returned to the earth like bulbs.

Bethan Ford-Williams

I am grateful for poetry, and the ability to write it, and the fact that I spent three years around people who were excellent at it and who loved it as much as I did and in some cases more. I am grateful for spending three years writing and reading and knowing that doing that was okay, maybe a bit self-indulgent at times (maybe a lot of the time) but that it was something worth doing.

I am thankful for the opportunities that those three years afforded me, and that I took a chance, when I was seventeen, and looked into university without ever really intending to go.

mum and dad

I feel so grateful to have the parents that I do, who are unfailingly supportive (even if my Dad tells me I drive incorrectly). I am thankful that they are the incredibly weird people they are because otherwise I would not be the incredibly weird person I am. (And that would be a shame for everyone involved.)

Even when they have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, or doing, or think I am being dramatic (I probably am), they support me, share in my laughter and laugh at me when the situation calls for it.

Selfies with the parentsI do not thank my parents enough for the relationship we have; the way we have never really had a fight; the way they take selfies with me even though it’s often ridiculous and very much in public; the way they let me dig at them for saying words that aren’t actually real words.

The cinema trips and drives with Dad, the shopping days and lazing around on the sofa with mum (and the dog). I am so lucky to have my parents, and I don’t tell them enough or talk about my feelings to them very often but I like to think I show them.

I am thankful for sunsets and clouds and stars and the sea. I am thankful for tiny, fluffy animals and animated gifs. I am thankful for chocolate (so thankful for chocolate). I am thankful for cobbled streets and houses with beams, but I am also thankful for towering buildings with walls made out of nothing but windows.

I am thankful for books and vanilla chai tea. I am thankful for friends and movies and ice cream.

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I am thankful for my best friend, who I wax lyrically about on a semi-regular basis, I am thankful that I have someone in my life who understands me as she does and who lets me sit in the corner, doing my own thing and is content just to be in the same room. I am thankful that she walked up to me as I was stood on the steps of our college. I am thankful she didn’t run away when I continued the conversation I was having with myself in my head, with her out loud without providing any semblance of context. I am glad she just rolled with it.

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“My sister is gonna make a mint, everyone can see her potential is f***ing phenomenal.”

Overheard from
the garden in 2011

I am thankful for my brother. He is one of the most irritating human beings on Earth but he is also my brother. I am grateful for the nice things he says about me when he thinks I can’t hear him and that he likes to throw wrapping paper at my head at Christmas, so much so that it is now tradition. And I am also grateful for hilariously out of tune sing-a-longs. I am grateful that I have a brother.

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I am thankful for grandparents. Grandparents are precious, and if you have any still with you, pick up the phone and give them a call or go round and give them a hug. I am so lucky to have had my grandparents right up until my twenties, and I am so lucky to have had not two but three sets of them! (Long story short: we adopted some close family friends who lived in the house at the bottom of our garden, and they, too, adopted us.) I am lucky enough to still have my Nanna (on my mum’s side) and my adoptive grandad still with me. I am thankful for their existence, and their stories, and the stories I can take forward and tell my one-day children and grandchildren.

I am thankful for stories, and photography. I am thankful for mist and hills and beaches. I am thankful for the way that light shines through leaves. I am thankful for those of you still reading this ramble.

he and i

I am thankful for my other half, at whose desk I am sitting while finishing this post. I am thankful for his patience when I am stressed and his support when I am feeling needy. I am thankful for his willingness to stay in with me on a Saturday while we look after my Nanna and watch nothing but old musicals and every single Lassie film that exists.

I am grateful that he took the time to respond to my message on okcupid, and that we found a time to meet and both dived in head first. I am slightly jealous of how smitten my dog is with him (it’s not fair) and how my laptop seems to really want to please him and only turns on when he is around (it’s really not fair). I am thankful for taking chances.

I am thankful that we share so many obsessions and yet still find things to each have of our own. I feel grateful that he has an incredibly lovely family, and that my own family accept and approve of him whole-heartedly. I am thankful for the sheer amount of ridiculous selfies he has let me force him into.

I am grateful that I have my own little corner of the internet to write my thoughts and review my books and fill with whatever floats my considerably eclectic dinghy. I am thankful for the people who read it. What are you thankful for?

On Disappearing from the Internet

Um. Hello. So, the title of this blog is a little misleading; I didn’t disappear from the entire internet, I’ve been incredibly active on Instagram, my random junk Tumblr, my inspiration Tumblr and my personal Facebook page. What the title of this blog should say is ‘On Disappearing from my Blog, Twitter, Flickr and other such Public Places, and the Pausing of the Definition Project’ but that is clunky and sounds too much like a chapter title from some kind of cyber fantasy novel (probably not a very good one). I’ve been meaning to come back for a while and, upon seeing lovely posts from lovely people like MikeMel (welcome back to you too!) and Georgia, I have decided that now is the time.

Originally, I disappeared because I was ill, nothing too horrendous but enough to render me useless for about five weeks. I always meant to start again once I was better but, as it often goes, life happened. So here is a list, in no particular order, for anyone who is interested, of things that I have done and things that have happened since my last post. To find out about the Definition Project, skip to the bottom.

  • Saw Miss Saigon in the Westend
  • Gained wonderful new people
  • Lost less wonderful people
  • Turned twenty-four
  • Irritated the dog (in a very loving way)
  • Designed several books (expect a post about book covers shortly)
  • Visited Dudley Zoo and Castle

  • Discovered and cultivated an obsession with steamed dumplings
  • Consumed a lot of pancakes
  • Bought a car
  • Passed my theory test
  • Read several good books
  • Dyed my hair

  • Failed to re-dye it (it’s on the list)
  • Started collecting crescent moon chokers
  • Checked out a few of the owls in The Big Hoot
  • Got a new tattoo (post to come)
  • Felt super good about myself
  • Started using the word ‘super’ a lot
  • Added many books to my wish list
  • Lost my oomph
  • Tentatively started finding it again
  • Almost broke my laptop, but it’s hanging in there (darn Windows updates)
  • Created a wonderful spotify playlist
  • Needed more sleep
  • Travelled on many trains
  • Visited friends
  • Went to Lancaster for the first time
  • Had many terrible driving lessons, and a fair few good ones (more good than bad from now, we hope)
  • Resolved not to rush myself
  • Ran the work Instagram
  • Cooked a three course meal, without ruining it
  • Went to a vintage bazaar
  • Sent lots of emails

Alright, it doesn’t sound like much but I am ready to take a leap back into this blogging lark and will probably use this list to generate ideas. I will return to my design posts and my book posts but I won’t be as strict with myself. I will allow myself to post about what I like, be that incredibly nerdy tattoos or my inability to stick to schedules. Who knows.

The Definition Project

The beady-eyed among you have probably noticed that my weekly project is not so much weekly anymore. Originally, as above, I paused due to illness. Having done that, I realised I wanted that project to be as good as it possibly can be and I don’t think that is possible when trying to create something new each week with limited locations and resources.

The last image I posted is one of the best images I have ever created, I think, and I want all of the images to be of that standard or better (if I can!) so I am waiting until I have access to more locations (and the ability to drive so that I can get there), more money to put into it, more oomph and a computer that can handle working on such large files. Currently, I can only do simple edits, rather than the composites I am more fond of, my laptop is steadily dying. Once it is replaced, I will be creating magic once more. Watch this space. Big things are to come.