Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Move and Needing To Chill

I really need to chill. I would say 2018 has been the most stressful year of my life, but the reality is that it's probably only in the top three. I feel like I've been stressed pretty much since I turned 18, as my entry into adulthood was immediately characterised by loneliness, fast food and a general sense of impending doom that I resolutely ignored. This year, the big thing has been The Move. I've spent most of the year focused on one thing - buying property. I detest renting, probably because in the last eight years I've moved twelve times. I'm pretty sick of packing up everything I own and moving, whether it's halfway across the country, to the other side of a city or just down the road. My Mum, chief driver and van renter, is fed up as well. I'm very much looking forward to moving one more time, and then not having to do it again until I decide I want to.

pink jumper, black jeans, pointed flats, Manchester city centre

I'm really hoping that 2019 will be the year I can finally slow down. Sure, there will be a whole new set of stresses that come with being a homeowner - redecorating, buying furniture with money I don't have, the horror that is a MORTGAGE and being an actual grown up - but all of these are steadier, and can be done at my own pace. For the first time as an adult, I'll have a base.  A place I can truly stop and be calm in. What I really hope for is to create a proper home for myself and my boyfriend, a place which is completely ours and can provide the stability we need. Not so long ago, I thought that I would love a life where I moved country every couple of months, one where there's always something new on the horizon. I've since learnt that while change, or at least variety, is something I definitely crave, without a base to come back to it's just uncertainty and vulnerability than exciting; without a place to come home to I just feel adrift.

The opportunity to buy property was afforded to me by a combination of tragedy and good fortune. I'm very aware of how lucky I am to be able to create this haven for myself, and I'm delighted to be able to share it with the person I love most. This flat is a step on the road to truly building a life for myself. It's a place that's mine, a place I can always go back to and where I can be safe. It will be a new beginning and a place of security - if the solicitors would just bloody hurry up.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

When Holidays Aren't Quite Right | Kendal

I'm pretty skint at the moment, as I save and save and save as the flat purchasing process drags on and on (I hate solicitors), and I couldn't really afford a holiday in the latter part of the year. I loved my brief time in Paris earlier this year, and as I became increasingly stressed I began craving a break - any kind of break. 

Kendal Lake District in Autumn

Our budget limited us to the UK, and we wanted to keep it as cheap as possible. My boyfriend and I both love walks in the woods and countryside, so figured the Lake District, being right on our doorstep here in Manchester, was the logical choice. We booked into a Premier Inn in the town centre and hopped on the train to Oxenholme. We didn't have much in the way of a plan, figuring we'd make it up as we went. I had a few things in mind, such as museums and a bizarre-sounding vintage quarter, but mostly we just wanted to get out into nature.

We realised quite quickly that we had miscalculated. I (technically) drive, but don't have a car at the moment, so we were dependent on public transport and our own two feet. I think we saw basically the entirety of Kendal in the first afternoon, after which we kind of ran out of things to do. The museum and gallery I thought might be interesting were closed on the days we were there, the restaurant I wanted to eat at was closed for the whole week, and we missed the only bus to the other village we wanted to visit. Overall, we were pretty unlucky.

In the few days we were there we began to realise that holidays in small towns with not a lot going on weren't for us. We went for walks in the surrounding countryside, but once again, once we'd done it once we struggled to get further afield by public transport. Unlike a city break, where there are things to do and see everywhere, we were stuck in a very small town where seemingly everything was shut. At the other end of the spectrum would be something like renting a cottage in the middle of nowhere, which would work for us as it would mean we could simply head out in any direction for a countryside walk and see something new each day. The other option is a beach holiday, not something I've really ever done, but I do think it would work for us, as lying on a beach sounds heavenly right now and like the ultimate de-stressing activity.

I think Kendal, or small town holidays in general, could be great with a car. A car doesn't make sense in my life right now, as city centre living negates the need for it. I would consider renting one for a weekend break, but I would need to try and remember how to drive first. Seriously, I can't remember a thing. We did take some gloriously Autumnal photos in Kendal, and discovered some very odd things in the Serpentine Woods alphabet trail before we realised it was a trail - the xylophone and yo-yo completely baffled us - and I would recommend it if you're in the area. The downside was we did it about three times as we ran out of things to do. Even so, it was a chance to chill, wind-down and be frustrated that everything was closed. You win some, you lose some.

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