Here’s my third quarterly review of the year: I have no idea where the time has gone. I mean, the next one will be (dare I say it) after Christmas?!
My last year in review post for April to June focused on how we still hadn’t yet moved house, despite waiting for what seemed like absolutely aaaaaaages. We finally moved soon after that post went out, and now the last three months have totally FLOWN by.
But before I get into anything about July to September I must mention what’s new today: the Saturday Share link up has moved from Friday to Thursday and has itself a new name. In a bid to make my work/life balance a bit easier things have changed a lot around here (check out that new logo and all my new colours!) – so as well as the Monday link up moving to Tuesday, the Saturday Share link up is now on a Thursday and simply called the #ShareAllLinkUp (because it’s the time and place to share all and sundry).
I will just say that, like Tuesday’s post, the Share All link up post will normally be published at 3pm. I made the decision to update and change schedules so last minute on Monday (just this week) that I’m behind due to the rebranding that I put into action straight away instead of keeping it for the Christmas break. Oops, there’s the C word again…!
Without further ado I’ll get on with what I’m here to talk about: the third quarter of 2018 – July, August and September. What a crazy few months they’ve been…
My year in review so far: Life
The house move
To be fair there’s really only one main thing that’s happened these last few months: our house move! As I mentioned it finally happened mid-July and oh BOY was it worth the wait (and the time, and the stress, and the money…)! Moving house has been the absolute best thing EVER. We have no idea why we didn’t think of it sooner; we were in our previous house for 14 years and yet it took someone else – my mum – to make the suggestion to move after we were moaning so much about how cramped we’d become.
Yes it was stressful, it was BLOODY HARD WORK, it made me cry on several occasions, but it was all worth it. We’ve gone from a too-small-for-us cottage to an open plan new build in a town that we really, really love. We’re only five minutes from the town centre but our garden looks out onto trees and we have fields and cows only 10 minutes in the other direction. We have cafes and restaurants, lovely pubs, and street fairs. Things happen in this town, unlike the last town we lived in. It’s still very much a rural market town, but we love it.
We’ve not needed to do any decorating at all because the house was totally finished of course being a new build, but the DIY jobs and unpacking have been going on forever. I didn’t think it would be this much work, but in a new build there’s no storage: shelves, curtain poles, toilet roll holders, sheds, cupboards, etc. all need to go up before you can finish unpacking. We’ve been practically living at Ikea, I think the meet-and-greet peeps recognise us every time we go in (thankfully a new Ikea opened in May and it’s down the road from us #lifemade).
We’re nearly there. There are boxes still be unpacked, but we’re about to order our wardrobes and will finally get the rest of our things hung and stored away where they’re meant to go, not in cardboard boxes any more…! I can’t wait for us to get the rest of our house purchases put where they’re meant to finally go.
The rest: football, birthdays, weddings and hot weather
England DIDN’T win the World Cup after all, what a bummer. But the world cup final was the day before we moved, so I can’t imagine what it would have been like to try and get the rest of everything packed and the house cleaned if England HAD been playing to win the whole tournament…!
I also had my 46th birthday and celebrated with the family. It feels good to be back to an even number (yep, I have a weird thing about being an odd number, it makes me uncomfortable! I’m also one of those people who can’t have the volume on the TV or car radio on an odd number. Doooon’t ask me why, I just hate it).
Keith and I went to a friend’s evening wedding reception in September, and after spending so long in dirty clothes for moving and housework it was nice to get dressed up for once. The selfie we took that evening (see the main picture) makes Keith looks like his yacht was parked outside… what is it about an open white shirt and dark blue jacket that makes a man looks like he’s super wealthy?! It wasn’t that long ago that his cut his long hair off and trimmed his beard much shorter… ironically one of our nieces said, “Oh good, he no longer looks like he’s homeless” 😉
And finally: THAT summer. Ahhh, the Summer of 2018. The one that started at the end of April less than three weeks after the endless snowfall and lasted, well, right into October. We shall longingly remember the endless days and nights of not wearing jackets or cardigans. We shall remember the numerous gin and tonics and glasses of Pimms. We shall remember the eating outside time and time again and the countless barbeques. We shall remember the scorched, brown grass that didn’t go back to green for ages, and when it finally did it looked downright weird. We shall also remember the heat when we moved house and how we had to work our butts off and drip with sweat whilst cleaning the old place…
Ahh, the Summer of 2018. Adios, my sweltering, gorgeous friend. (Hello, Arctic chill this weekend.)
My year in review so far: Career
Due to the house move I really had to cut back on how much work I took on. I didn’t attend any events but I did, however, take on a few new campaigns to start at the end of the summer. I’m feeling the pressure now as they’ve all become due (what seems like) this week, and I’m up to my eyeballs in work! Thank goodness I sorted out my schedule otherwise I’d be in even more of a pickle than I already am. I have a new office space in one of the bedrooms, and it’s still a work in progress but I’m looking forward to decorating/styling it properly and getting a gorgeous sofabed in there. It’ll be just right for comfy elevenses with a biccy and a cuppa…!
July saw my 7th blogiversary on the same day as my birthday. Seven years is a long time, I’m finally starting to feel like I have my act together (though after the last couple of weeks maybe not, lol).
Awards – and judging
Two great bits of news: I’ve been shortlisted in the women’s fashion blog category at the Vuelio Awards, and I’m going to the awards in London at the end of November with my work wife What Lizzy Loves (Keith can’t make it sadly). I’ve got my gown already… can I beat my previous awards events dresses?! Every time I think I can’t but you lot tell me otherwise. We shall see (clue: vintage again)!
And finally – I’ve been announced as the (blogger) fashion judge for the 2019 UK Blog Awards – I won two years in a row and thought it was time to get involved in some other way. I have a feeling it’s going to be A LOT of work but I’m so excited. You’ve only got a few days left to enter yourself or someone else: entries close on Sunday (28 October). PLEASE get entering, we need as much diversity as possible, and due to a change in the way voting will take place you WON’T need a huge following to have a change. We’re looking for quality, not follower numbers.
The good news is, anyone found to have been buying follows or engagement on Instagram will be disqualified (UKBA19 is using Social Chain’s new LikeWise tool). I’m very proud to be part of an organisation that considers this fraud: no naming and shaming, just instant disqualification. We WILL stamp out fakery!
My year in review so far: Health
The detox retreat
Two things happened health-wise for me this last quarter: First, I attended a detox retreat in North Devon last month and had the MOST incredible time. One of the best experiences of my life (definitely top 5), I actually made the work changes this week as a result of not being able to keep up the good work from the retreat. All my good habits have been slipping I’m ashamed to say! But now I’ve reorganised what I’m doing work-wise and when, so I’ll get this week out the way and restart once I’m all caught up… the good habits are still waiting in the wings, they’re just waiting patiently in a box at the moment. I’m DETERMINED to get my work/life balance in order and want to feel strong and healthy come Christmas time.
(That’s THREE mentions of the C-word, so sorry.)
(More) post-op results
Secondly, I also had my second post-op MRI scan to check out what my abdominal cyst has been up to. I had the operation in January to remove it but it could only be drained (too complicated to remove it altogether and not, at that stage, totally necessary). I had one follow up MRI before the summer which showed it was effectively still there, but not blown up to grapefruit size again thank goodness. So the scan I had a couple of weeks ago really was THE one to see whether there had been much change. I received a letter from the specialist just this morning (what timing!): the cyst has reduced in size slightly, so as long as I feel well I don’t need to go in and see him. I’ll simply have another MRI scan in six months’ time to see if it’s still behaving itself.
One amazing thing to note is that with all the crazy-ass exercise I did on the detox retreat, not once did I get a problem with my leg; it didn’t hurt me in any way at all. [If you’re confused as to why I had a cyst removed from my abdomen but it was leg pain that was the problem, you can read what happened in this post.] It was such a relief to exercise with no pain up the back of my leg, to do squats and to walk and to do yoga without even thinking about the horrible, dull ache behind my knee.
Keep your fingers crossed for me and the cyst’s continued decline…!
My year in review so far: Loved ones
We had some lovely news in our family: I became a great aunt for the third time! Another niece became a mum and gave birth to a gorgeous raven-haired baby girl in September. I’m preparing the furry mints for my handbag and living with 12 cats as we speak.*
*obligatory great aunt accessories, no?!
The best bit? Riley is still good. Really good. So good, in fact, that when I took him for his monthly checkup to the vet in August, she said that the tumour had barely changed since she first discovered it in February. Therefore we could leave the next appointment for three months (apart from taking him in for anything that was causing us concern of course). But he eats well, he absolutely LOVES his (albeit very slow) walks, he sleeps the rest of the time (when he’s not demanding attention, of course). I can’t BEGIN to tell you how happy that made us… and yes, a few happy tears were shed that evening after the vet appointment.
The boy has also been going crazy for his new garden. The old garden was really a backyard with just patio and gravel; the new garden has plenty of grass for him to roam around on. He regularly sleeps out on the grass, and the hot summer has meant endless days with the patio doors open for him to come in and out. Best decision ever to move… I rest my case.
And finally, Keith and I are good, enjoying our new home like you wouldn’t believe. We’re closer to my parents now we’ve moved (not the intention at all, it was just that we got to know the town that they moved to last year, and fell in love with it too) – it all just feels so right. It’s like we’ve been here forever, and we don’t miss the old house at all.
I’m not sure what the rest of the year will bring – lots of blog work I hope, a great Christmas run up and the rest of our boxes getting unpacked – and I wish you all the best for the rest of the year too.
(FOUR C-word mentions. Kill me now.)
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