Sometimes it’s just about showing up for yourself.

It feels like forever since I last wrote. In reality, I think it’s only been a couple of weeks or so. But a whole lot has happened.

The last few weeks have been rough. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time at all you’ll know that I had recently moved from a small town in Cumbria called Kendal, to the western side of the Lake District to work on a campsite. It was a move both me and my boyfriend Andy were super excited for. The site we were working on was beautiful, and the area had all we wanted in terms of climbing and running. It was the perfect fit. Or so I assumed.

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Honestly, I had never felt less like myself. Typically I like to pride myself on being able to roll with the punches, on being able to accept whatever comes my way and adapt quickly to change. So, when I suddenly found myself miserable, spending nights crying and days where I felt paralysed, unable to get out of bed, I knew something was wrong.

I’ve never spent much time on the blog discussing my mental health before, but that’s not because i’m ashamed of it, more it just wasn’t a huge part of my life anymore. Back when I was around 17 I had suffered pretty badly from depression, which continued until the age of 20. Following that, I found myself making some pretty big life changes such as dropping out of uni, rediscovering passions and making new friendships, all in a bid to help fight the dark thoughts in my head. And, for the most part it worked. I was never totally immune from bad days, but they became few and far between. I learned ways to refocus my mind and distract myself and, ultimately, I was a heck of a lot happier.

Cue, the intense paralysing fear and sheer disappointment when my depression started to return. I had worked so hard, fought so many battles to get to where  I am today. Here, I was in arguably one of the most beautiful places in the UK, and I found myself unable to appreciate or smile about anything. I felt lost. 

It’s funny sitting here writing this now, seeing as one of the last posts I wrote was this one, where I discussed how I had received a fair few compliments on how perfect my life seemed. And, right now I guess I sit here writing this with my tail slightly between my legs, almost embarrassed that i’m struggling, when honestly I think the first step is to admit that once again, no one has everything going for them. We all struggle. We all have our own battles that we must fight against. We may not always win, but we just have to show up.

So what now?

Well in case you hadn’t already guessed, I left the job. And, am currently sat jobless alongside Andy at my parents house back in London. Some would call this giving up, but for me i’m just showing up for myself. I’m putting myself first and figuring out exactly what I need right now to get through the black haze in my mind.

I want to finish this post by saying that I truly do love the Lake District, i’m pretty sure i’m it’s biggest advocate. The time I spent there was healing in so many ways. It’s where I learned what I was capable of, how to stand on my own two feet, where me and Andy created our first home together. It will always be a place held so so dear to my heart. But for now, I know I need to be somewhere where I can get more of the type of help I need. Where I can take several steps back and figure where to go from here. I may not be 100% okay, but i’m working on it, and for now, that’s enough.

As for the future, I am far from done both on this blog and in my life itself. Whilst this time at home is about rest, it’s also about figuring out what I need from any new home I may have. And Andy and I have been researching a few places we could move to, and plan on taking a couple of trips within the next week to see if we like any of them.

Sending my love xxxx

 

Any thoughts or comments are always welcomed

 

 

Virtual coffee date.

I’ve always loved reading other people’s blog posts about a ‘virtual coffee date’, the idea being where you can just reel off exactly what you would tell someone if you met up in person for a coffee (flat white of course) and a good old natter. Especially since life has been a bit of whirlwind lately, where it’s been one thing after another, some good, and some less so, I thought it would be nice to give you a little summary of my life lately. Here goes…

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I would tell you that any good day has been spent up in the mountains, with the most recent being a return trip to Blencathra (one steep ass mountain that’s for sure). I don’t know exactly what it is, but the mountains just have this way of sorting it all out, of letting me realise how insignificant some of my problems are. It’s just needed.

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I would also tell you that my days have been filled with delicious food, such as these cookies, andy and I made the other day. So big, so chocolatey and so gooey….

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I would talk about how nervous, yet excited I am for our new start in Eskdale. My days of no work certainly need to come to an end soon, and i’m looking forward to finding a new rhythm in a beautiful new place.

I would tell you that i’m off to London this weekend to spend the bank holiday with my parents, whom I haven’t seen in almost 5 months (too long!!!). And, i’m hoping it will be a weekend of rest, relaxation and all of the cuddles with my cats….

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I would tell you that my hand is finally getting back to normal (ish), and I nearly have full movement back in it, so i’m hoping it won’t be too long before I can get some climbing back into my life. The last few months have been really tough (the idea of life being a rollercoaster couldn’t be more true), but I finally feel a bit like there’s a light at the end of this particular tunnel.

I would tell you that we’ve been experiencing car trouble. Boo. And something as small as changing some tyres has now turned into a big, messy and expensive deal, which is never ideal. And, sadly I think it might soon be time for a new car. I really want to get back into driving, and Andy’s car is just massive and really intimidating, and I know I sound like a right wuss here, but I feel if we got something a little smaller, it would definitely help encourage me to actually drive more.

I would also tell you that last night, Andy and I attended the Banff mountain film festival held in Keswick’s ‘Theatre by the Lake’. For those who don’t know, the festival is split over two nights and debuts films based on outdoor pursuits. We only managed to get tickets to Wednseday’s set of films as tonight’s were fully booked (:(:(), but it was a really good evening. We were 100% the youngest people in the audience, which kind of surprised me, but it felt really good to be surrounded by fellow mountain lovers, and see some really inspiring films.

Finally, I would tell you that amid all the frustration and tears this last month has brought, there have been some of the best days yet. Andy and I have definitely grown even closer because of it and I feel so incredibly lucky to be where I am right now.

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Over to you:

What would you tell me if we had a coffee date?

Favourite thing you did this weekend?

Mountain day: striding edge

Man oh man, I am pooped. As I type this I am currently sat in my comfiest clothes, nursing sunstroke and a slightly burned complexion #superpalepeopleproblems.

Yesterday sure was an amazing day.

Ever since we moved to the Lake District everyone has been telling us to go and do a route known as ‘striding edge’. And, most people, finding out that we’ve lived here for 6 months and hadn’t done it yet seemed completely baffled at our apparently unacceptable mountain behaviour. Sorry guys…..

In fairness, they had a point.

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Striding edge is a ridge walk that leads you to the summit known as ‘Helvellyn’, you can then descend back via another shorter grade 1 scramble known as ‘Swirral edge’. The route is seen as a classic, and really popular with tourists, as even though it’s a grade 1 scramble, it’s very very easy, and requires no previous climbing experience whatsoever. Another appeal is just how exposed it is, as you are pretty much just walking on a thin, rocky path with gobsmacking drops to either side.

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So, having heard pretty good things we decided to head out on a super sunny Sunday (the weather here recently has been nothing but glorious), bringing our housemate along for some extra company. We had an early start, leaving the house at around 8am, where we then drove to Glenridding, the start of our walk.

We definitely got lucky with the weather as there was barely a cloud in the sky, and it got so warm that we were all walking in just a base layer (!!!!!!!!). I have been waiting for the day I didn’t need a jacket for so long now.

Despite our early start it seemed a lot of people had had a similar idea as it was pretty busy out on the trail already, so the first part of our walk was spent dodging groups left right and centre. Once, we finally made it to the start of striding edge we had successfully avoided the bulk of the crowd and were free to start the scramble.

Honestly, the views were breathtaking, thats for sure! And there is some sense of thrill being on a fairly narrow edge with severe drops either side. But, it wasn’t my favourite scramble of the lakes, not at all. It isn’t by any means technical, as there was no climbing like movement involved, which was probably a good thing seeing as my left hand still isn’t totally functional, but I did miss having the chance to really think about where I put my feet and hands, and all the motion and movement in climbing. Our descent via swirral edge too was pretty anti climactic, it’s very short, and I found myself longing for Blencathra’s sharpe edge scramble instead.

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shoutout to our housemate for being our personal photographer for the day!

 

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Whilst the scrambling may not have been top notch I can say I had an awesome day, goofing around with these two idiots, running around in the mountains and having some great conversations with equally great people.

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Once we made it back down to the car we ate at a nearby cafe, and when I say ate I mean more like scarfed down our food in 0.000001 secs, before heading off into Ambleside for a BBQ (yay first one of the summer!!) that a friend of Andy’s had organised.

 

Another great weekend done and dusted.

 

Tell me:

How was your weekend?

 

 

Kentmere Horseshoe + getting ready to move on

Hi, hey, hello,

It’s been a little while since my last post, but easter weekend for me was pretty chilled, with nothing new to report. I did however get an easter egg from Andy’s dad and it was oh so beautiful, pretty much been munching on it nightly since Friday, and my life will definitely be a little lost once it’s all gone.

Anyhow, yesterday Andy was off so we headed off with a friend in tow to complete one of the most iconic mountain routes here, the Kentmere Horseshoe. It’s the longest horseshoe here in the Lake District, taking in 8 peaks and supposedly the most scenic, so it’s something we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time now. We got an early start, arriving in Kentmere at around 8:30ish, and headed up the path to our first peak, Yoke.

As routes go this one is pretty accessible, there is a defined path much of the way, with no real crazy steep descents and really easy navigation. Once you’ve made the initial push to the top of Yoke its pretty much just following an undulating ridge which is really cool!

As for the scenic element, well we were a tad unlucky. Whilst the rain held off, we were in cloud the whole way round, meaning the limited views we did get were sparse, we got a decent glimpse at what was around us at a couple points when the wind picked up, and it was stunning. If it was a clear day I definitely can see why it’s such an iconic route.

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Another great thing about this particular horseshoe, is that it’s out the way a little, so less popular with tourists. It’s still the easter holidays  over here, but we literally only saw two other walkers way in the distance – my kind of mountain!

In the end, because of the fog, we cut the route short a little by dropping into a valley that skirts around a reservoir to pick up the pace and run for a while, especially as none of us felt like staying in the cloud layer. There’s only so much grey you can take before you start to want to be able to see again.

Once back at a lower elevation the views were once again breathtaking! We even saw what we presume are wild horses?? (Note: I may be wrong, but there was literally not a single sign of humans owning them….)

And as always, the day ended with cake and coffee at our favourite coffee spot – Mr Duffins.

It actually felt really good to be back out adventuring again (finally!!??), and just be with nature for a while. I’m not sure what it is, but the mountains always have such a way of helping me figure everything out, and realise what’s important.

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If only the weather had been like it was back when we did belles knot a few months ago

At the moment, i’m looking forward to an exciting few weeks as Andy finishes work this weekend, and we prepare to make the move to start our new jobs in April. In the meantime, we’ve planned almost everyday (we love a good calendar planning sesh), and right now it looks like we’ve got the Banff film festival to look forward to, a couple of mountain days in the Keswick area, a trip back to London to hang out with my rents for the bank holiday weekend, and a potential low key trip to Scotland. I miss Scotland, Andy and I actually used to live there for a bit and it’s by far one of my favourite places.

Hope you all had a wonderful easter, please tell me something fun you did!

xxx

To new beginnings…

It’s been a restful few days over here for me, filled with lots of easy mornings, coffee and long walks…oh and cake, because you all know about my addiction to that stuff. I swear cake = crack for me. Anyhow I feel a series of life updates is more than overdue, as things sure have changed a lot for me over here, for the better I hope!

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Firstly, I got my stitches out yesterday!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell i’m excited over here?

The hand itself remains pretty sore, and its still in a dressing, with strict instructions of sticking to rest and not getting it wet, but i’ve got physio appointments booked for next week, so slowly but surely things are hopefully looking up. I still don’t have any sensation back in my left ring finger but they said that could take months, so i’m trying not to get my hopes up, or rush the process too much.

Also, I quit my job. Kind of linked to the first update, but to fill you all in a bit more I basically worked as a Barista for a speciality coffee shop over here. I love coffee, I liked my job too, but in all honesty I think life is too short to stick to doing one thing. The last few months I felt myself getting a little restless, grumpy and well craving a new challenge if i’m being honest. So, my injury came at an opportune time, it gave me the space to think about things and if I wanted to do anything differently. I was also told by many different doctors and nurses that barista-ing just wasn’t going to be a possibility for me anymore, at least not for the next few months. In some ways, it just felt like life was trying to push me in a new direction. Which leads me onto my next update.

We are moving! Talk about an overkill with dramatic life updates, but it really just has been one of those crazy months filled with change.

So, Andy and I like where we live, it’s in a nice enough town right by the Lake District, with good transport links to nearby areas. But truthfully, we were never in love with it here. So, with me quitting my job it led us to look further afield for new job opportunities in more rural locations, which led us to Eskdale. A teeny tiny village in the Western Lakes, near the start of Scafell Pike (UKs highest mountain), where we both found work on a campsite. It’s a pretty neat opportunity where we get to live in a caravan for the summer in a beautiful location, and honestly we couldn’t say no. Especially as it’s not physical work (i’ll be doing a lot of clerical work taking bookings etc), so it’s something I can actually do.

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All these changes have by no means come easily, they involved a whole lot of tears, and hard decisions, but ultimately i’ve found peace in them. I think I got all too caught up in trying to have my life completely figured out, with a stable job, relationship, house etc. When in reality, that’s skipping ahead to the end, without giving myself time to fail, time to discover more what I want to do. I’m learning to realise that where I am right now is okay. That there isn’t a time frame I have to live by. I don’t need to have my whole life mapped out at the age of 21. I don’t need to have a life plan yet. I don’t need to have it all figured out.

 

So here’s to new challenges and adventures

happy easter weekend guys, you’ve made it xx

 

 

 

Weekend ventures and life update.

As i’ve explained all too many times on this little blog, I rarely get weekends off. ever. But, with my life being a little out of whack, having just undergone surgery, and not being able to work, i’ve been having all of the time off lately.

Luckily, this weekend Andy was off work too, and so we could have a little explore together. Having a bum arm is pretty limiting, and so our usual options of a long hike, climbing or run are all out of the question for the next couple months, so we’ve got a little more creative in the types of places we are going to visit, venturing a little further than our go to mountain towns.

Recently i’ve been craving the sea. I’ve always been kinda weird this way, but I find my body just wanting to be in certain landscapes. Sometimes i’m desperate to be in forests, other times I find myself longing for a mountainscape. Does anyone else ever get this, or am I just beyond weird?

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Anyhow, my body wanted to be by the sea. I’ve always been a bit of a beach baby. I spent the summer working by the coast in Devon, where trips to little, deserted coves and off the beaten track beaches were pretty much the norm. I know when I settle down for good it’s going to have to be by the sea. That’s something I won’t compromise on.

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Living where we currently do, we are still pretty lucky, with the nearest beach based towns around 30/40 minutes drive away, which all in all is not bad at all. So, with a little googling we settled on the town of Silverdale, on the basis that it’s pretty residential, so it’d be quiet, it’s got an unspoilt, natural coastline feel to it, and a really awesome cafe just outside the village. Perfect.

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Silverdale you didn’t disappoint. 

We were blessed with amazing weather, and heat!! It has been a long time since i’ve actually ben able to step outside in just a t-shirt and shirt.

We wandered around the neighbourhood, admiring all the really pretty houses, cute cobbled streets and near empty coves, before heading off to The Wolfhouse for lunch. Several friends had recommended it to me based on the fact they know I love good coffee, and it’s one of the few places around that really focuses on delivering speciality coffee, done right, while not being too in your face about it like other coffee shops. You know those ones you walk into where it feels all laboratory like and uncomfy? Yeah well the Wolfhouse is the total opposite to that, super relaxed feel, and a great outside area too, oh and it’s attached to an art gallery. Can it get anymore perfect?

They also serve a bunch of delicious cakes and a full food menu too! Andy and I settled on the pistachio and rose water cake and a peanut butter cookie to try, as well as the waffles with bacon for him and eggs with toast and butter beans for me. All of it was delicious and served quickly!The only drawback? It is a tad pricey, but i’ve come to expect nothing less in such a touristy area, especially when it’s literally the only cafe in the town!

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Conclusion?

We will be back Silverdale! It even had rocks for Andy to play on, I was just bummed I couldn’t join in too 😦

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Overall we had a really lovely weekend, but with that there came some stressors too, we love living in such an awesome area, I feel blessed when I wake up and see just how beautiful it is all around me. But, it has its drawbacks, and I think being out of action at work for a while has made me realise even more what I want to do and where i’d like to be. So, that leads me onto the next bit of the post, there are going to be some big changes coming mine and Andy’s way, i’m not sure i’m totally ready to talk about them yet, just until everything is finalised, but it involves moving…again. So watch this space, more good things coming this way.

 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend my loves, tell me something great you did in the comments!

 

xxxx

10 things I learned from a year on the move.

Happy Saturday friends!

Usually I hate the weekend, because my Saturday used to be like a Tuesday for me, in the sense that my work week was just beginning again. Weird, I know. But now i’m off work for a while to heal the hand and basically until it stops feeling like it’s being stabbed with a series of tiny knives. Yeah..not fun.

Anyhow it’s April!

How did I not get the memo on this? I genuinely thought we were still in March until Andy surprised me with this fact a couple days back. Time is a-flying i’ll tell you, and it’s almost summer and my bday woop woop! But, i’m getting distracted here.

See, April for me marks exactly one year since I packed my bags and vowed to move out of my home with my parents for good. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my family, i’m pretty sure I have some of the most incredible parents out there, just with how supportive and involved they are in my life. I know I can tell them anything and they’ll be there for me every step along the way. But, I knew that by staying living at home I just wasn’t going to learn anything or even really challenge myself. I was always lusting after a life full of adventure and excitement but didn’t know how to do it. Cue my trip to Australia. If that trip taught me anything, it was that if people can up and move their lives across the world, I could move mine across a country.

So, come April last year I moved down South to the countryside, then before long I found myself moving again, and again…..See once you get the hang of it once, it becomes pretty easy, and I got pretty lucky in finding a job that allowed me to move around so much. Moving wasn’t always easy but it dang sure was worth it just in the way it made me love my little country so much more.

Anywhoo, here’s a few things that looking back I wish I could’ve told myself before I upped and left…

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 I have too much stuff. 

No Amy you do not need a full winter, autumn, spring and summer wardrobe with you at all times. Nor do you need your entire collection of trainers and all your favourite books. Let’s just stick to a few key items here okay?

Writing down all your past addresses on forms becomes super tiring

Doesn’t it just matter where i’m living right now?

Having a normal exercise routine pretty much goes out of the window

Let’s face it my gym stuff is probably at the bottom of my still unpacked suitcase

No, you will not stay in touch with all of the people you meet

This is definitely just a polite saying, we use as a goodbye rather than an actual pledge to say friends forever

But…you will meet some amazing people along the way

You know who you are!

You’ll get to see and do things you only dreamed about

Like going up mountains, swimming in secret coves, running along empty waterfall lined trails…it’s all there waiting for you

You will have days you miss home

This is more than normal, embrace the feelings Amy, they will pass.

It’s okay to lose yourself along the way

Sometimes you need to go down the wrong road for a bit to make you figure out even more what you do want. Trial and error, there are no wrong decisions here.

Boardgames, card games, scrabble..they all become essential

Wifi is not always a guarantee when you’re living on a budget, and/or in rural areas.

You’ll appreciate the little things more

That text from your sister, the sunset in the evening, when your roommate wakes you up when your alarm fails to go off. Moving so much means you don’t get time to be so complacent, take it all in, appreciate it whilst you have it.

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That’s it for now, happy happy Saturday everyone

xxx