Lunch at Cafe Van Gough and a walk along South Bank
The biggest (and tastiest) vegan breakfast imaginable in Black Cat Cafe, Hackney
My brother and I, on our way to see The Nutcracker!
Boxing Day walk in Bradgate Park with some pups in tow
Blimey, November feels like a long time ago. I’ve barely been in Edinburgh over the last couple of months. I’ve spent a couple of weekends in London, a long weekend at home, and took a couple of week’s holiday so I could really spend time with my family over Christmas. I thought the time off would give me a chance to get some things done, do some blogging, get organised, but as usual the run up to Christmas was too hectic for any of that! I’m so used to living alone, I forget how time consuming it can be to live with others, haha.
November was relatively quiet travel-wise and I spent a lot of time focusing on work. We kick-started a workshop programme, ran a big weekend event and I stumbled through a much-dreaded presentation. I often feel like I have space in my mind for only one project at a time – either I’m mulling over work plans in my head over lunch and in the shower, or I’m thinking about my blog. I’m sure I’ll never be one of those people that can work full time and blog regularly unless my job was mentally un-challenging. So, the blog took a bit of a back seat in November. I saw the Low Anthem and ate my way around Glasgow’s best vegan restaurants for a day. I had regular brunch with friends (Sunday Funday!), explored a forest in the Highlands, shivered through Edinburgh’s monthly vegan market and lay on the grass at night to watch the super moon.
I spent a lot of December in London. James was in Edinburgh throughout his reading week, so I owed him a backlog of visits! He’s moved to a flat in South London with one of my best friends, which is perfect for me because I get to visit them both at once. We’ve done a lot of eating out – Mooshies, Vegan Hippo, Cafe Van Gough, Mildred’s, Itadaki Zen and Black Cat Cafe. The vegan food options in London are seriously improving, it’s (almost) hard for me to keep up! One of my favourite Christmas traditions is to go and see The Nutcracker. I’ve previously been to the stunning Royal Ballet production in Birmingham, but it always finishes before I’m back in the Midlands, so this year my Mum, brother and I hopped on the train from Leicester to see the English National Ballet version in London. It was so beautiful, I shed a tear. What I would do for a sugar plum fairy dress!
Christmas this year was just how I like it – a traditional family affair at home, relaxed as always, and surrounded by animals. I saw a lot of old friends and talked a lot to my bunny rabbit Archie, who likes my room the best. After Christmas I saw more family at my Grandparents place in Surrey, before whizzing back up to Scotland in the car for New Years in the Highlands.
Seeing in 2017 from a cottage in the countryside with a bunch of my favourite people was exactly what I’d wanted. I always find that physical space away from your real life gives you corresponding head space, to think about what you’re doing and where you want to be. I’m not usually big on resolutions – I sometimes make them hardheartedly but often forget about them, and never keep them. This New Year’s I felt particularly reflective. I’m at a time in my life where there’s nothing really coming up on the horizon. I love where I live, and I love my job. I’d quite like them to stay the same. It’s very unlike being in education and working towards a milestone – the next year, the next degree, a first job, a promotion. There aren’t really promotions in my line of work, just different jobs, different hours. It’s nice, I like that stability and although I feel insecure about it sometimes (it’s important for me that my work is meaningful but I’m not that career-minded) it gives me space to work on other areas of self-improvement. I want to be more magical in 2017; I’m writing a gratitude diary and learning about herbalism. It’s exciting, I haven’t been this self-motivated to learn in a long time. I want to do yoga regularly, read before bed and see more live music. I’m going to 100% stop buying new clothes made in sweatshops, no excuses. What about you – do you have any resolutions for the New Year?