November 2016 will always be remembered as the worst month of my entire life (unless some higher being wants to punish me anymore, but I can’t imagine any pain as worse as this). My gorgeous sister Caitlin sadly passed away on the 17th November. I will probably eventually dedicate a separate post to this, but right now it’s hard to put any of it into words – it is completely surreal and heartbreaking.
But as Gaz always sings to me (mainly just to wind me up when I’m complaining too much) “Always look on the bright side of life”. So here are my favourites from the months of November and December.
I am IN LOVE with this travel wallet. When Gaz and I were in Ireland this summer for my family’s “Trip of a Lifetime” we spent a night alone visiting Cork. We were exploring all of the cute gift shops the city had to offer and whilst doing so stumbled across a set of travel wallets. They were pricey and tacky, so I didn’t buy one at the time. However I never stopped thinking about how bloody handy one of these would be – so I finally caved when I saw this gorgeous wallet on Not On The High Street. Inside this travel wallet there is designated space for cards, cash, passports, documents, a pen, etc. Normally when I travel all of these items are carelessly thrown into different areas of my bag. Finally I can be truly organised and stylish at the same time! The only downside to this wallet is the price: it comes in at a pretty expensive £32.
Oh my god. I finally did it! I bought a mother freakin’ drone. It’s safe to say I have droned on (pun intended) about purchasing a drone forever. And I finally caved. It was a mixture of feeling sorry for myself following Caitlin’s death and my newfound “life is short” attitude, combined with Black Friday sales that made me finally take the plunge.
So far I’ve only taken my DJI Phantom 3 Standard out for a spin in the village, but am really excited to take it further afield to capture cool locations from above. I hope to dedicate more time in 2017 to creating video and growing my YouTube channel. I’ve interrupted my year at university until January 2018 so hope to spend more time growing this blog in the next year.
Fat Face clothing
I’ve always been obsessed with Fat Face – the only problem is that most of their clothes are on the expensive side. But when mum and I went to Birmingham on my 20th Birthday, she decided to treat me to lots of comfies. She bought me a gorgeous mustard scarf (we all know that’s my favourite colour), some pyjamas (which I really needed) and a cosy, fluffy blue cardigan.
If you didn’t hear about Jet2.com’s ‘Name That Destination’ competition, I apologise. Jet2 hosted a five day competition to give away over 20,000 flights (yes you heard me correctly). I spent many, many hours trying to win free flights for Gaz and myself and I SUCCEEDED. I am so excited to announce that Gaz and I will be heading to the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira for a week long holiday next July. We will be staying in this modern and stylish Airbnb apartment (which is only 22 quid a night!) and going on all kinds of adventures. I can’t wait!
Ottery St Mary
Before Caitlin’s death, which was completely out of the blue, I was having a normal and fun November. On Bonfire Night, the 5th November, my wonderful housemates and I headed to the famous Ottery St Mary Tar Barrel event in Devon. You cannot quite capture the spirit of Ottery St Mary in words but it really is a bizzare bonfire bonzana like no other. In short, local men take to the streets to run around with flaming tar barrels on their backs. This tradition is hundreds of years old and no one really knows where it came from, but we all just roll with it anyway. Classic Devon.
There’s also a huge bonfire, fireworks, lots of food stalls and a fairground to explore if flaming tar barrels don’t take your fancy. But trust me, not knowing which way the barrels are gonna go next gets your adrenaline going and is a heck of a lot of fun.
Dear Father, thank you for HBO and all of the happiness it brings into my life. Amen.
After Game of Thrones you’d think HBO couldn’t run something quite as spectacular and then they premiered Westworld. The first season ended only a week ago and I’m already so excited for the second season. Why, oh why, is 2018 so far away?!
If you haven’t heard of Westworld, this is the premise (copied from Wikipedia): “The story takes place in the fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated completely by synthetic androids dubbed “hosts”. Westworld caters to high-paying visitors dubbed “newcomers” (or just “guests”), who can do whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the hosts.”
I’ll say no more other than it is bloody incredible: the plot is so unique, the twists will catch you completely off-guard and you’re simply punishing yourself by not watching it sooner.
Also a shout out to The Netflix’s The OA which Gaz and I binge watched in less than a day. Whilst it was certainly not perfect and the ending was just hilariously awful, it is still a really decent show that will have you hooked from start to finish. Here is the premise of The OA (copied from Wikipedia): “The series centers on Prairie Johnson, an adopted young woman who resurfaces after having been missing for seven years. Upon her return, Johnson calls herself The OA, exhibits scars on her back, and can see, despite being blind when she went missing.” If you enjoyed Stranger Things you’re bound to love The OA.
Oh, and how could I forget Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Bloody brilliant. One of my favourites of the Star Wars movies and I much preferred it to The Force Awakens. Not much else I can say; I was pretty much left speechless after the film ended.
It’s at time like these when photos become so much more meaningful and precious. I will treasure my photos with Caitlin for the rest of my life. Caitlin’s death acted as a reminder to print photos off regularly. It’s all well and good having them online, but it will never compare to the physical, real thing. I printed off photos of my travels since December 2014 using PhotoBox and put them in this gorgeous photo album from Paperchase.
100 People of Dance
If you haven’t already seen this video then you’re probably living under a rock. I swear everyone and their mother’s uncle’s step-son has shared this video. But regardless of how many times it comes up on my timeline, it still manages to put the biggest smile across my face. The video is basically a compilation of people dancing to the same routine around the States to the catchiest song ever. It’s so freakin’ happy and is just what I’ve needed this past month.
Lastly, but most importantly: my family. I’ve always had to be independent growing up, I had no choice. Our family has always revolved around my sister, with my parents dedicating their lives to her care. From the age of 13 I was travelling all the way down to London by myself. I love travelling because in another city I can be completely anonymous and not the girl with the severely disabled sister, or now the girl with the sister who has died. Similarly, for short periods of time I could forget about how awful my home life has been for the past 9 years.
For this reason I have never been a home bird and I have never missed my family whilst I’ve been away, nor have I had a normal relationship with my parents. However, right now I couldn’t be more of a home bird. I need to be around my mum and dad all the time at the moment and I couldn’t adore the two of them more. I truly am blessed to have been brought up by two of the most selfless and hardworking people in the world. God knows how they’ve managed to look after Caitlin these past several years – most other parents would have given up or would have divorced under the pressure. It’s weird to think that I’ll be able to spend more time with my parents within a couple of months than I have done for the last nine years. It’s bitter sweet.
Gaz is included within this family category too. God knows how I would have coped without him this past month and it’s been really hard on him too. It was our 3 year anniversary on the 1st December, and although we didn’t celebrate it (for obvious reasons), it made me appreciate him even more (who thought it possible?).
So what have you been loving over the past month or two? I sure need stuff to cheer me up at the moment so please let me know in the comments below!
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