(This is a BIT late as I've been poorly sick, but please see below my late entry into #WIDN October).
Dealing with my parents use of technology
My mum has just discovered the dictate function on texts, and is going to town with the new-fangled feature. However, it often scribes her words incorrectly. And she doesn't change them. Often her messages take some serious translation and most recently she announced my 31 year old sister was going to Butlins. “Abby is going to Butlin. Ha ha But. Lynn. Well you know what I mean. I am on dictate.” Berlin. Abi is going to BERLIN.
Meanwhile, the last time I rang my Dad there was just a load of squeaking on the end of the phone. I have no idea what button he’d pressed. I text him, defeated, saying it sounded like Alvin, Simon and Theordore had answered the phone to which he replied “lol!” and I haven’t’ heard from him since.*
Technically, I have been doing this since March, but now it’s been long enough that I know it suits me. This is the first time I've lived by my actual self, and it was a bloody scary move. Going back into a house-share was not an option. After living with a partner, you go past the point of being able to deal with anyone else’s idiosyncrasies other than theirs or your own. I have become far too selfish with my personal space and I don’t want to have to live with anymore drug addicts, alcoholics or people who do not shower (all true).
I was a bit scared of being lonely, bored and…well, scared. But honestly? There hasn’t been time for that. My feet haven’t touched the ground this year, and I love that my downtime is just that. Yes I am skint, and as a single occupant you are responsible for everything to the point you can’t so much as miss a bin day - that’s exhausting. And sometimes it would be nice if some form of food was just there when I got in after a long day. Yet with all that said, the good more than outweighs the bad, and I’m very much enjoying being miss independent (with a little help from my friends). Throw your hands up AT ME.
Baking a hellalot
This may not come as any great surprise to those who know me, as baking is my religion at the best of times. There I am, every Sunday, holding up my whisk in worship. But right now I am in a complete baking frenzy. The cold Autumn air, the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Paul Hollywood’s steely Blue eyes and, dare I say it, the first hints of festivity. It all just makes me want to get up at dawn, don an apron and create batter all day long. So I mainly do.
Cutting and sticking
Creating has always been my anchor. From my earliest days when I’d happily lose whole weekends crafting paper lanterns (can I hear Watch with Mother yo!), paper-mache-ing some rather attractive vases, sketching the fruit bowl for the 700th time, and building Ferries out of shoeboxes (what?). In grown-up times, creating has become other things – baking, blogging, cards and collages. (The world just wasn’t ready for my cardboard catamarans).
The last few months I have been in a much freer place, and creating has become the centre of my being again. Nothing makes me happier than a day spent locked away, making things. I will easily plan whole weekends around my want to do this. It’s my therapy, it’s my ME, it’s so fun. Would anyone like some personalised bunting?
Buying all of the Benefit counter
I switched to 'proper' make-up when the world decided I was ready for a grown-up salary. Ironically, this meant that last Christmas I forked out £50 on a Benefit gift set for myself (half the content of which I ALREADY HAD) just because it came in a pretty, festive, gingerbread house tin. Those guys know what women want, and if it isn’t fairy-tale themed aluminium.
Since being poor again (sigh) I’ve had to cut back on my Topshop habit and Graze boxes, but some corners cannot be cut and proper foundation is one of them. My friend once said to me that her Mum said to her (bear with me) “you only get one face.” Profound. Since that day I have invested my last pennies in ensuring I treat my one face as well as I can. And the Benefit counter is just SO pretty at this time of year.
Doing an emotion on 2015
I think of October as the penultimate scene in the play of the year. That act before the finale, where you start to see the end of the year, ready to wrap the whole thing up in a bow. You’re not quite there, but you know it’s coming, and all the characters of your life are poising to take their bow.
2015 has been really quite something, and it’s by far from over. There are so many adventures to tend to still before the year is out, but I already know that it is forever going to remain in my memory as one of the most pivotal and profound years of my whole life. Oh, sentimental me.
Schmaltzing (that's a word)
I am clearly in a very sentimental time in my life, as barely a day goes by that I don’t post a card or stick another photo on my pinboard. As much as we live in a virtual world, I think these tangible forms of love are so important. I surround myself with memories, and make sure to tell people how much I value them in a way that means a little more than a quoted re-tweet.
Fan-girling hard on my own friends
I rave about my friends a lot and they get a lot of airtime here, because they prop me up and make my world go round all at the same time. Like a hand twirling a tiny disco ball. Each and every one of my friends gives me something so unique, and when I reflect on the amazing, supportive, strong group of girls I have around me I just feel so lucky and proud.
When you go through something big, your friends show you what they are really made of, and how selfless they can be. And this year mine have blown me all the way away with their thoughtfulness, ability to make me laugh and just solid Gold advice. If I valued them before, now I’m ready to have them stored away in a vault (not in like a dark, scary, pyscho way) because I never want to lose these treasures.
New Girl Series 4
I just watched the entire series in a very short space of time, and after a shaky series 3 it seems the show has rediscovered its verve. Whatever you think of Jess and her entourage, any show with Schmidt in is well worth losing 2 days of your life to.
*update: I heard from him mid this blog post, via a voicemail that said "Hello love, I am in a car park sometimes known as the M4. Anyway, hope to speak soon!"