Sometimes you forget to get in touch with someone for so long, that by the time you get round to it, you feel so embarrassed that it’s difficult to know where to start. That’s how I feel now. Over the past few months, I’ve sat down to write an update post at least three or four times. I’ve put down words then been distracted, and returned weeks later to find the update long out of date. It’s been an intensely busy time, and I’m sorry I let this blog fall by the wayside. I’ll try to remedy that in the coming months.
So why so busy? Here are some of the things I’ve been up to…
We’ve been moving house since June, which is one of the biggest reasons I’ve neglected this blog. It wasn’t a simple move, and involved a 10-week renovation, plus more after a few disasters. But we’re there now, and I fall in love with our new home a little more every day. It’s our dream house, and it’s been fun, after so many years of nomadism, to have a place to spread some roots. Steve has been doing a lot of DIY-ing, and I’ve made all my Pinterest boards come to life. I’m going to save the rest of the home news for another time as it deserves a post of its own. I’m excited to share where we’ve ended up!
Since returning from New Zealand, we’ve been to weddings in Sweden and Belfast, to the Edinburgh Festival, glamping in Wales, on a family holiday to Hayling Island, to End of the Road, and I went to Germany to explore the Wadden Sea. We’ve certainly not stayed still. Currently, we have no trips booked, but there are many countries calling. Places we have our eye on include: Iceland, California and Georgia, plus we’re long overdue trips to Barcelona and Berlin. After moving home, we’re keen to stay here for a while, but come January I know we’ll be itching for an adventure. I’ll let you know when we decide our next moves.
Work, work, work
I wrote a post a while back about how I had finally found my work-life-travel balance. That post still holds true, but I still sometimes lack balance within my work. When someone asks me what I do, it’s hard to find a succinct answer: I blog, I’m a copywriter for charities, I make films, I write feature interviews for magazines, I edit a charity magazine, I freelance as a travel writer, and I co-run a small creative agency. I love the variety, but sometimes I don’t get the balance right, and sometimes I take on too much.
I’m trying to learn which bits work best for me, but I enjoy parts of it all. At the moment I’m working on an interesting interview for a magazine, which has reminded me of my love for the genre. I have some regular charity clients – Marie Curie, Plan International, and Save the Children – which satisfy a desire to contribute. And working on Victoria’s Insider Guide to London for Expedia has been a lot of good fun (especially the afternoon teas episode!). Steve and I are also working on the branding for a local social enterprise cafe, and then there’s been work with Visit Britain, and Greentraveller. Like I said, it’s not always easy to know where to focus, and I’m still tempted to try it all.
Steve, on the other hand, has found a great new passion. He has a freelance contract, developing a virtual reality (VR) experience. It means we have a lot of new toys in the house, like the Occulus and the Vive. Everyone who steps inside ends up having a go, and it never fails to blow people’s minds. It feels like a glimpse into the future.
Life and love
Finally choosing a place to call home has lifted a weight I’ve been carrying for years. It’s tiresome to constantly question where you want to be, so to have chosen has been liberating. Of course, I still sometimes have doubts and my mind drifts to what might have been, but on the whole I’m happy with what is. I bake cakes, I see friends and family, I’ve joined an African dance class, and Steve and I are are eating our way round the neighbourhood. I feel very lucky with my lot.
One year of marriage in, and Steve and I still feel like newlyweds. I still feel amused when I say “my husband” , and I glow when I think of our wedding. The cliches are true: it was one of the best days of my life. As you’ll know from my Zika posts at the start of the year, Steve and I hope to start a family and we’re still on that journey now. I’m not pregnant yet, and I have a common condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can cause these things to take time. But my Mum had the same thing and I exist, so at least I know it’s possible.
As I’ve said, I’ve not been great at updating this blog, and even worse at sending newsletters. I tend to find it easier to write personal updates when I’m far away from home. I guess it’s something to do with perspective.
I’m going to do a little survey soon to see what you’d like more of, and what you’d like to see less of. It’s sometimes tricky to balance personal stories with useful tips. I’d like to know what it is you like! Whatever happens, I’m keen to keep it authentic. The reality of money means I sometimes do paid collaborations, like the #OMGB campaign or my trip to Cuxhaven. And I also sometimes share things I do for other companies, like the videos for Expedia; I’m not obliged to, but I think they’re useful so I choose to. In the survey, I’ll check to see if that’s something you’re happy with, or if you’d prefer for there to be nothing like that at all. I do make sure that whenever I accept a job, it’s something I would do anyway, rather than something I’m purely doing for cash/because I don’t have to pay for it. Survey is coming soon.
Til next time…
I’ve been writing this on the train, so I’m going to sign off now and say bye. The autumn is in full swing, the sun’s going down, and I’m drifting through the countryside: it’s time to stare out the window.
With love and cakes, Vx