I’m writing this with my tail between my legs because once again, I’ve been a bad blogger and have barely posted on here this year. You might remember that I started this year full of optimism and positivity after what was a bloody eventful 2016. A lot of how I was feeling at the start of January still stands, and I have actually had some really exciting things happen this year already, but I’ve also had some pretty shitty things occur, that frankly have made the past month or so a little tough. Sweet lord am I fed up with challenges! In a bid to fill you in on everything, here’s a hearty mix of 7 things that have happened so far this year.
1. I fell in love with Cornwall. On the first weekend of the year, I headed down to Morwenstow near Bude in North Cornwall to visit my wonderful friend Emma and her little bubba Lily. Emma has recently relocated back down there from the Big Smoke and lives in the most beautiful location. She’s right by the coast, has an abundance of country air and has some seriously incredible walks/farm shops/tea rooms and most importantly pubs, all on her doorstep. The weather was pretty atrocious while I was there (thanks January) but it made me really question how long I wanted to be in London for. Life just seems to feel more real by the sea or in the country. Emma’s family own a dairy farm so I was spoilt all weekend with fresh cow’s milk, hearty meals and her dad ‘forced’ me to break Dry January with his homemade flavoured gins. Poor Olde family will be sick of me this year – I’ll be down there again a lot, I’m sure!
2. I am officially gluten free. I’ve known for a long time that gluten and I just don’t get on. As well as getting all those fun bloated situs, I also started to get numbness in my face that felt like I had been injected with Novocain. As much as I love bread, pasta, cakes etc, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Admittedly I have slipped up a couple of times (at Emma’s and on a recent trip to Paris) but I’ve had a fully functioning face for almost 2 whole months now. Learning what gluten-free alternatives are out there has been an experience…coming to a blog post near you soon.
3. I HAVE A TEAM. For years now, I have seen so many people floored when my response to the “how big is your office over here?”question has been, “oh, it’s just me!” Well, it’s all change for 2017. I have recently hired 2 fantastic new team members, the kind of people that I just know that the work we’re going to do together is going to be magical. I’m so excited to have them aboard (tenuous link to the photo above – a boat that’s positioned outside our office).
4. I HAVE AN OFFICE. In order to achieve #3 of this post, I had to give up working out of my bedroom. Working from home suits some people, and for a time I was one of them, but it started to have a major effect on my mental health and personal life. I need people around me, the buzz of an office and brainstorming sessions with the dog just aren’t productive. A few weeks ago, I moved in to a WeWork space, ready for the arrival of my new hires. The office overlooks London’s Southbank and we’ve got the top of the OXO tower staring at us from our window (yes, that’s our view above). Dogs are allowed in the office and the shared kitchen spaces have beer and cider on tap whenever you fancy a bevvy. Need I say more?!
5. I had another Paris adventure. Having discovered in 2015/2016 that mini breaks make my heart sing, I booked a trip to Paris with 2 treasured friends who I know through work. Kari had been to Paris before but Matt was a virgin and it’s always fun to see first reactions to the city of love. We did a lot of walking, drank a lot of wine and saw all the sights. Being the organised traveler that I am, I pulled together a Google Maps of all my favourite Paris spots and recommendations that friends had shared with me. If you’re heading to Paris, feel free to make use of some of these and don’t forget to share your must sees!
6. I discovered Lauren Mahon. Well technically I didn’t. Kristabel (of the AWESOME blog, I Want You To Know), did a Twitter intro for me a few weeks ago to the utterly remarkable Lauren of blog Girl Stole London. Lauren is dealing with the c word right now but is she letting it bring her down? Hell. No! The woman is the ultimate (and I hate this word but I’m going to use it anyway) Girl Boss and I am in utter awe of everything she is doing to raise awareness of breast cancer, document her journey and still maintain being a thoroughly cool person. We’ve not actually met yet but we’re doing something fun together with work in the near future! For now, you need to get yourself one of Lauren’s tit-shirts here. 25% proceeds go to Breast Cancer Haven and they fit beautifully round the old bazoomas so help spread some awareness by sporting one yourself!
7. I’m dealing with some health issues. Now for the not so fun stuff. Towards the end of January, I was walking back from Tottenham Court Rd to Waterloo and when I got to the Strand, I started to get an excruciatingly painful stabbing pain in my lower belly. I was crouched down on the floor for about 25mins (and no, not one person stopped to see if I was ok) until it passed. It then happened repeatedly throughout that evening. I ended up having an ultrasound, which consequently showed a 12inch mass sat on top of my uterus like a top knot, presumed to be a fibroid. For perspective, that’s the size of a cantaloupe melon.
Since then I have been poked and prodded by a consultant gynecologist (NOT fun AT all), had some more tests and I’m having an MRI next week to give more detail on next steps. It will most likely mean abdominal surgery at some point in the next few months and frankly I can’t wait to get it sorted. I am currently carrying about a stone more than I usually do, my swollen lower belly might as well be a pregnancy bump, I feel really uncomfortable in most my wardrobe, my hormones are all over the place, I’m tired all the time, my periods resemble Hiroshima, I’m still battling on/off pains almost consistently now and the worst part of it all is that I can’t even eat bread and cake to make it all better!
Whilst I’ve tried to avoid reading too much online, the scariest part of it all is that it involves my reproductive system. Fibroids are something that a lot of women go through (though mine is on the larger side) and there are millions of success stories about people having the same problem and still being able to have kids, but as someone who is desperate to one day become a mum, I am naturally pretty terrified and raging hormones are not helping my emotional state about it!
So there you have it. Hopefully I’ll be forgiven for lack of blogging – I do actually have a great schedule planned for it! Until then, onwards and upwards!