Wild Flowers Update

A few weeks back I shared my excitement with you at some flowers I had planted showing their first signs of life:

This photo below was the then taken about three weeks later, I couldn’t believe how much they had grown and how exciting gardening was. I also couldn’t believe how quickly I somehow managed to start killing the lavender.

Now here they are below, taken earlier today, looking like they’re making a break for it out of their plant pot!

Some of them now have buds on the ends that look like they will start flowering soon. Have to say I think I timed the planting perfectly!

These flowers were a Christmas gift from O’s aunt, they’re from a company called BeeBombs. They sell packs of native wildflower seed bombs, which can be planted pretty much anywhere and grow into flowers that help bees thrive. I think it’s a great idea.

We got two packs so we’ve planted one in this pot and spread the other round the communal garden at the back of our flat. I just hope the building maintenance team don’t cut the grass any time soon!

Photos & Thoughts

Logging on today for a brief brain dump, and to share some of my favourite photos from the past two and a bit years (two and a bit years is the amount of time that I have now not really been blogging, still really enjoying the break).

This photo is from my first holiday with O, we went to the Dales between Christmas and New Year and did a 9 mile walk through heavy snow. Worth it for this picture and also for feeling the benefit of the heating kicking in when we got back to our Airbnb.
This view was a five minute walk from the place we stayed in Reykjavik, Iceland. What an absolutely incredible country, one of the best and most adventurous holidays I’ve ever had.

We’ve had some fantastic trips abroad, but I’ve equally enjoyed the long weekends we’ve spent in the Dales just doing walks, going to the pub and getting the fire going. It’s the best thing ever.

Changing the subject, recently I’ve been catching up on the X-Men films in preparation for Dark Phoenix coming out in the UK. It has completely brought back my love for the X-Men, so much so I bought a couple of comics today when we passed a shop selling them by pure chance. As a kid I enjoyed all of the Marvel characters and story lines, but X-Men was always my favourite because of the threats and prejudice they faced. My favourite characters were Nightcrawler and Rogue. I cannot wait for this next film to come out, very excited to see how they present Jean Grey’s backstory!

I had a crack at sketching Storm from the cover of one of the comics too – I’m trying to practice my drawing and am documenting my sketches over on Instagram. It’s been a lifelong favourite hobby and I don’t want to lose the skill.

You can see my half-finished go at Storm below.

Let It Grow

This year I decided to try and grow some garden plants. We don’t actually have a garden, only a small balcony, but you can still do quite a lot in such a small space.

My track record with plants isn’t great, I once killed a succulent by over-watering it. Succulents are probably even easier to keep alive than cacti! Nevertheless I am determined to get better at this and to do my small part in keeping plants alive and thriving (and also bumble bees!).

Currently, we have a yucca plant, some lavender and a large pot containing a variety of flower seeds. I don’t know what any of them are but I know they are ‘bee friendly’; they were a Christmas present from a relative.

Something I didn’t know about growing new plants and flowers, is how exciting it is. When I first saw the greens shoots poking through I couldn’t contain myself. I counted 7 of them yesterday, there are now 20!

Here’s some photos:

I’ve planted the yucca in quite a large pot in the hope it will grow much bigger.
I’m using a nice jug to water them all. Not sure what to put in the spare pot yet as it’s very small! I’m thinking about some basil or another herb.

And here’s a photo of the large pot with the miscellaneous bee-friendly flowers growing in it from yesterday:

Look at them go!

I’m really excited to see what sort of flowers they grow into. Expect another update on my compact-sized garden very soon.

Iceland – On another planet

I just accessed my blog to make some updates and felt the urge to blog, so here I am. Life is pretty good at the moment, both at home and at work. I’m generally feeling very content.

We went on a short holiday to Iceland last month so I thought I’d share some photos and stories from that today. Iceland – wow, that’s all I can really say. It’s an incredible country, and the people are so friendly (and efficient. My kind of place).

Here’s some photos from the trip:

The photos pretty much speak for themselves. We hired a car whilst we were there and I’d very much recommend doing this, it saved us a lot of money and it’s a very easy place to drive around, even when you’re not used to driving on the right side of the road.

On a couple of the days we were there we ended up driving through actual snow storms with very little visibility. At first it was a little frightening but that quickly changed to invigorating. You soon realise that in Iceland you’re actually very safe. There’s basically one road around the whole island, and all of the cars are suitable for the kind of weather they get there. Our hire company automatically upgraded us to a 4×4 free of charge because of the weather warnings – really good of them I thought, and we were glad they did because we drove through a lot of snow! The company we hired with was Blue Car Rental.

Oh yes, we also saw the northern lights! Very briefly, but we saw them. It was one of the most unique natural things I’ve ever witnessed.

For our next trip we’re considering Japan, it will take quite a bit of saving but we know we will both love it.

Back to it

A photo from Times Square, New York

It’s been a very, very long time since I last blogged. 19 months, to be exact.

I’ve really enjoyed the break. In those 19 months I’ve become a far less stressed person and now have no intention of reverting back to pre-19 month blogging break me. But I’ve missed blogging. Or as my boyfriend put it, I’ve ‘missed keeping track of everything’.

It’s true! I love documenting, listing, recording and reflecting, and a blog is a great way to do all of those things.

Since the lad hit the nail on the head with exactly what it is I miss I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to write about. I’ve never ever stuck to one topic – just in the same way I’ve never stuck at one ‘thing’ in any area of my life.

First I blogged about my daily life, and books. Then it was travel when I spent two years backpacking on and off. After this I moved to Melbourne for a year, and my blogs morphed into being about setting yourself up in a new city and seeking out cool things to do.

Then I came home and started putting the same spin on the cities in my home country – places like Sheffield, Leeds and even Doncaster. I gave seeing these places in the same positive way I saw Melbourne a really, really good go, but ultimately it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Eventually, I got a job in Manchester and put the same spin on my blog there too, but after a few months I became incredibly burnt out and bored with what I was writing. I was also fed up of having to mirror every blog I did with posts on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook blah blah blah.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t even upload images to any of the posts and I miss that simplicity. I miss just writing for me, without even thinking about site analytics.

All’s well that ends well though, because learning about the promotional and analytical side did interest me and I was good at it. Fast forward to now and it is how I’ve ended up building a successful career in digital marketing. I’ve gone from freelancing and working part-time at a charity to managing and growing my own team in my current role at a big corporate company. Pretty chuffed with that to say the least.

Anyway, back to blog topics. I think what I’ve settled on is: How I Manage My Life. I mean things like living within my means, finding new ways to save money, learning to live in a more sustainable way. All stuff like that.

It’s exciting to be back!