It’s safe to say that the last month has been an odd one. I’m normally one of those people who doesn’t suffer from ‘Sunday night dread’. I look forward to the week ahead and try to channel my inner Elle Woods to get me motivated and rearing to go. Once I’m up, showered and feel my soya latte pumping the human back into me, I feel that Monday and I are friends. Yet, no matter how hard I try to deceive and trick myself, this positive philosophy never seems to translate when it comes to buddying up with January. The first four weeks of the new year tend to be the ones I find hardest to conquer. This year, the cold weather, extra few Christmas pounds and my never-ending job hunt has really taken its toll and I’m feeling rather drained, gloomy and that the only thing about to bend and snap is my self-esteem. As I mentioned in my last post, one of my main goals at the moment is to focus on getting into the journalism industry, but I’ve found that the road to getting there sometimes requires taking a step back, relaxing and regrouping. Here’s what else I’ve been up to whilst starting to forge my way.
1. I went on a New Years Day family day trip to Porthcawl, where my father spent most of his childhood summers. We drove around the seafront and took in all of the local landmarks as Dad sprinkled a few nostalgic anecdotes along the way. Despite the mild panic as we got lost in Trecco Bay caravan park, we had a pretty relaxed day, followed by a bit of Sunday lunch. The perks of a sober NYE.
2. I got to meet my friend’s Cavachon puppy. He is pure cuteness in furball form.
3. I embraced my inner child and went to watch a panto at Swansea Grand Theatre. I absolutely love going each year, and while my sister and I pretend to be going for our younger cousins’ sake, the exercise is mostly for our benefit. This year the performance was Sleeping Beauty and the special effects team really outdid themselves. Being related to an aunt who is the queen of forward planning, we tend to get the best seats in the house. So, when the evil sorceress took to the skies, she flew right over our heads without a string in sight. For a moment I really believed she could fly, and that was real magic.
4. I joined the Phillips ladies for an afternoon on the town. After enduring our literally backward local train service (It travels 15 miles in the wrong direction before reversing!) we made it to Wind Street ready for a few cocktails and a boozy lunch. It’s always jam-packed full of laughs when my sister, cousin and I get together, but throw in a trip to Las Iguanas and a pitcher of Mango Collins and it’s pure pandemonium.
5. I met up with the Cardiff girls. After a long six months apart, my old housemates and I finally met up, and boy was it good to get the gang back together. Last year was so lovely sharing a house with the best gals a girl could wish for. Coming home to the smell of food cooking, the kettle boiling and the background buzz of Take Me Out felt like home, so it was only fitting to catch up on our adventures and misfortunes over freshly baked pizza. Nothing beats discount grub with top class company.
6. I finally got around to sorting out my room. Years of education, weight fluctuations and changing fashions has resulted in the accumulation of a whole host of pointless, outdated and truly hideous things. I spent hours upon hours sifting through my GCSE, A level and uni files, my memorabilia box and the deepest depths of my wardrobe. Yes, it was bittersweet throwing out some bits and bobs, but it was also satisfying knowing I’ve made it through the other side of education and to be reminded of the colour of my bedroom carpet. As for my clothes, they’ve been donated to raise money for my local breast cancer unit, which helps a worthy cause close to my family’s hearts. Less clutter and doing my bit of good is a win win.
7. I think I’m starting to get my head around this whole blogging thing. While I most definitely lean more towards ‘novice’ than ‘Zoella’ on the blogging spectrum, I feel as if I’m finding my feet and my voice at the same time. I look forward to writing something new and feel a sense of satisfaction, purpose and pleasure while doing it. As an added bonus, my followers are gradually growing, I’ve received some lovely comments and have a little passion project to show potential employers. Who ever said work and play shouldn’t mix?
8. I went for a seaside stroll and catch up with one of my friends from home. We visited Langland Bay, one of my favourite spots, and got some cardio done as we walked along the rugged coastal path. The view really is breath-taking and makes me feel so lucky to call this part of the world mine.
9. I indulged in a Bobbi Brown foundation. I fear there’s no going back from here.
10. I visited my local multicultural supermarket, which was a welcome change from the high street stores. I found some quirky, very reasonably priced and utterly delectable gems to experiment with. I now worship stuffed zucchini.
11. I felt like a Disney princess when my mermaid blanket finally arrived.
12. I visited a local food fair at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. In obvious fashion, I bought almost every veggie food product I could smell and came face to face with Lord Sugar’s latest apprentice. We picked a beautiful day to walk around the vast grounds, inhaling the crisp air and being enchanted by the heart-warming innocence of children chasing birds and splashing in muddy puddles.
13. I became a published writer in BA’s High Life magazine after writing an advertorial about Las Vegas and Madrid during my internship.
14. I discovered a new winter walk. After weeks of viewing Penllergare Valley Woods on my Instagram feed, my sister and I finally visited despite protestations from my grandmother and uncle, who could give the Brothers Grimm a run for their money. Before our trip they felt the need to remind us about its association with crime and various types of ‘entertainment’. We saw nothing but family games of hide and seek, paddling ducks and about 101 Springer Spaniels. Hansel and Gretel’s title is safe.
15. I went to the theatre to watch Sister Act. Despite the fact I’d seen it once before on Broadway when Raven Symone took on the title role, there was something special and intimate about watching it on a smaller stage closer to home. Alexandra Burke really was made to play Deloris Van Cartier and proved that her comedic skills are just as impressive as her vocal range. I’m still bopping around to ‘Fabulous, Baby!’ and coming to terms with the fact nuns have Shakira sass.