10.08.2020- A Summer on Film

Monday, 10 August 2020

When we look back, as I really hope we'll be able to, there's no doubt that we'll all remember the summer of 2020 for a variety of strange and unpredictable reasons. It's scary to think back to January, when I was determined to make this a year of making some changes and embracing all of the things on my 30 things at 30 bucket list. As it stands, the current situation has taken so much out of all of our hands, and the changes which many of us have had to face over the last few months have come about not through our own design, but rather as a matter of circumstances completely beyond our control. As I reached my late 20s, I learnt a lot about the art of not worrying too much about the things in life which you have no power over- more for keeping my own counsel at work than anything else- but I think it's a strategy which has helped me a lot over the last few months too. The changes which many of us are now living with aren't necessarily things which we would have arrived at organically, but spending more time at home and being forced to take some time to pause has definitely thrown a lot of things into light relief for me- in fact, I can't remember my life being at as much of a crossroads for a long while- probably since I was 16 and waiting on my GCSE results!

This sense of being in the middle of something which will become a part of history perhaps explains why I've felt myself more keen than usual to keep a record of time passing and the experiences which I've been able to have this summer. Back when I was 16, I kept a Polaroid diary of that post-school summer, and, with a similar sentiment in mind, I've recently been experimenting with a new Fujifilm Instax Camera- with the film more readily available than anything for my Polaroid, it's been a really lovely way of getting back into photography as it used to be:

Living most of our lives through screens as we do, I think it's easy to forget what can make photography so special- for me, it's having a tangible archive of memories, whether that's from five years or five weeks ago. I've been getting into the habit of taking my Instax with me wherever I've been going, and it's been so lovely to get back into the art of instant photography using a film camera rather than just a phone. There's no doubt that it's a bit of a nostalgia trip for me too- whether or not I'm subconsciously seeking some of the optimism of my sixteen year old self, I'm not sure! Some of my favourite photos so far have been of the beautiful big blue sky in Norfolk, but I've been impressed by how photogenic so many of my favourite local haunts have been looking too- here's to lots more adventures on film as we head into the last few weeks of summer and into the autumn of this most momentous of years...

Have you taken up any new hobbies during lockdown?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

07.08.2020- Lockdown Lunch #15: Katherine Glyde

Friday, 7 August 2020

Aaand, it's Friday again! It's so strange that we're now in the first week of August (as well as, it seems, in the middle of a heatwave!) but I've had quite a productive week this week which has been good and I'm trying not to worry too much about things which are out of my control for the time being. I'm not sure how long that vibe will last, but for now it's one which I'm keen to embrace! 

My lockdown lunch guest this week has also really inspired me to be more philosophical about life at the moment. I've know the lovely Katherine since we started working together back in 2014, and she's been a total inspiration ever since. Even though we've long since left the roles where we initially met, until the start of lockdown we were lucky enough to both be working in the same area, so would catch up for lunch as often as we could. She's also been a total rock to me personally for as long as I can remember, with work worries as well as helping me to stress much less before and after my laparoscopy a few years ago. She's recently started the wonderful my.endo.diaries to share her experiences of Endometriosis, and it's no understatement to say that she's one of my real-life heroes. Here's how she's been getting on with life lately:

How are you coping with things at the moment? 

Lockdown has been a period of extreme highs and extreme lows, ‘the Coronacoaster’ is my absolute favourite way of looking at it! It finally feels like we are getting back to some form of normality, the gyms are reopening and I’m heading to the beach next week and I can’t wait to breathe in that salty sea air. I worked from home at the start of lockdown, then got furloughed, which was actually pretty great because suddenly I actually had the time to do all the things I’ve wanted to do but not had the time for before. I’ve done some online courses, worked on some side hustles, volunteered with Endometriosis UK to support them on their WalkForEndo campaign and just generally enjoying life at a much slower pace. The theatre sector has been hit so hard by lockdown and unfortunately, I am also now playing for Team Redundancy. Looking for that silver lining I decided that being made redundant doesn’t really fit with my vibe, so I’m treating this like the sabbatical that I have always dreamed about – granted I won’t be writing my best selling book on a beach in the Caribbean but what’s a girl to do, I’ll make the best of it. I’m really looking forward to cherry picking all my favourite things workwise and turning it all into a new career.

What are you missing most about life?

I miss my old routine, the Central Line not so much, but meeting friends at lunchtimes, exploring the city, working in an office full of people rather than seeing faces through a screen. Finding ways to adapt to the situation was tricky, I have a huge family and I only got to see some of them for the first time in months last week and I couldn’t believe how much my little nephews have grown up. Not being able to see my brother and his family is really tough, the lockdown restrictions are a lot stricter in Wales so FaceTime will have to do for a bit longer. 

Which foods/recipes have you been reaching for? 

When lockdown started, I took the opportunity to eat every possible type of sugary carb-filled treat I could get my hands on, think Bad Brownie and Doughnut Time. As a family we tried to support local businesses where we could, which meant fresh homemade bread and pastry deliveries! When the carb overload started to take its toll, I used my new found spare time to experiment with endometriosis friendly recipes that taste great. I have been reading as much as I can about endometriosis and using food as a way of managing symptoms. My fruity chocolate loaf cake is my favourite so far! 

What small things are making you happy? 

Being able to walk my dog every day has been a saviour for my mental health, our dog Pip is a teacup shih tzu, who thinks she’s the size of a Rottweiler, is the real winner of lockdown with daily walks and 24/7 cuddles! When the gyms closed my gym loaned us all equipment and moved all classes online which was an absolute saviour during the lockdown. With minimal equipment available we were forced to go back to basics and work on the foundations of fitness, perfecting our push ups and burpees etc, now that we’re back in the gym I can really feel how beneficial that time has been. 

What have you been enjoying as lockdown has eased? 

Even though we’re not allowed to hug each other yet, being in the same room as my family members is just great. Going out for coffee (or hot chocolate in my case) again. I definitely underestimated how much I enjoyed doing that pre-lockdown.

I've been finding a lot of comfort in hot chocolate too- can't wait to enjoy one with you soon pal! A massive than you to Katherine for taking part- follow her wonderful account here and find out all about Walk for Endo too!

(Image credit: Katherine Glyde, please do not reproduce without permission.)

05.08.2020- What I Wore Today #425

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Although this selection of newer style shaped snaps have all been captured within the last couple of months, I suppose it’s testament to how quickly things are moving that looking back on them still feels strange. This outing was one of my first after the first phase of lockdown easing, and I remember being so excited to take a trip down to Kent to catch up with a bunch of some of the most incredible women ever, all of whom have been absolute legends since this whole bizarre period kicked off. After being cooped up for so long, it seemed only right that an outing on a sunny Saturday merited a new dress in celebration:

Dress- Monki 
Bag- Fjallraven 
Shoes- New Balance

This dress from Monki is a sold-out piece which I had my eye on during the first few months of lockdown, and luckily some canny stealth stalking of the website yielded a return in my size! It’s the ideal summer essential, perfect for picnics in the park and also really comfortable, with the looser fit making it ideal for warmer days. With practicality in mind, here I also reached for my Fjallraven bag- a 2019 travel essential- which is really coming into its own as a means of stashing all of the essentials (mask, gloves, sanitizer) for when I’m out and about. 

Have you invested in any new additions for summer?

(Image credit: Lucy Mathews, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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