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!
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).
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.
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:
And here’s a photo of the large pot with the miscellaneous bee-friendly flowers growing in it from yesterday:
I’m really excited to see what sort of flowers they grow into. Expect another update on my compact-sized garden very soon.
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.
Today I’m back in Manchester after about a week at home for Christmas.
As always it’s been a much needed rest, I actually feel like I’ve been on retreat! I spent most all of my time eating, snoozing, watching films and reading books, and also exercising – we managed a three mile walk on Christmas day, an almost-six-mile walk on Boxing day, and the day after that my dad and I went for a nine mile run (!).
I always use Christmas as a chance to switch off and take stock, deciding which direction I want to steer myself in next year. This time I’ve decided I want less stress and more fun.
I want to focus on doing a good job at work and to keep learning new, relevant skills. I want to keep this blog ticking along nicely without putting any pressure on myself for it be to ‘established’ or ‘professional’. It’s mine so I can do what I want.
I want more time for leisure next year. I want to do a bit of travelling and really explore every last nook and cranny in Manchester. I also want to get my second book published, but you know what? If it’s late, it’s late!
This morning I baked shortbread and cooked a vegetarian bolognese, now I’m lounging around watching rubbish films and idly writing bits and pieces on my laptop. I feel very relaxed. This is what I don’t make enough time for – time where I can be idle, even lazy!
If I’m going to significantly reduce stress in my life it means I’m going to have to stop caring about a lot of things. I need to declutter my mental space. I did this after leaving Sheffield, and possibly took it a little bit too far (always one extreme to the other me!), but bloody hell it worked.
Less stress, more fun, and giving less of a f*** in 2017!