Autumn | 17

Honestly? Autumn has sucked. And those three words right there, they suck! 

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Autumn is usually the greatest time of the year for me. It’s my favourite. Halloween, Bonfire nights, the lead up to Christmas -which let’s face it, is sometimes better than Christmas day itself! Halloween has always been my favourite time of the year. The world becomes a blur of orange, purple and green, and finding the perfect shaped pumpkin is a never-ending mission. (During my nocturnal years, I remember my mom and I driving to Asda at two in the morning to rifle through there pumpkin stand. That is how committed we are to Halloween). But this Autumn hasn’t been that for me.


It started in a great way. I was three weeks ahead of my uni schedule and packing my bag to go away on a birthday trip with my boyfriend. I had my heart set on eating black-jack icecream (yes it’s a thing), wandering around Whitby, and hopefully climbing up the steps to Whitby Abbey. A couple days before I turned twenty-two, I got my nose pierced; something I have always wanted to do but never actually gone through with it. So, I was on a high. And then I got a phone call, on our last day away. It was my mom telling me that my dog, Myles, his tumour was bigger than the vet originally thought and they presumed it was down to the bone. The vet suggested amputations and MRI’s but ultimately I knew what this meant. Four weeks before this phone call, I had surgery and while I was recovering my mom told me that if it came to it (because Myles had a lump) she would rather put him to rest then have him chopped to pieces and sewn back up in the hope that we’d solve the problem. I knew that, even though amputation was an option for the vet, it wasn’t for our family and suddenly this ticking clock started in my mind. I found myself mentally predicting how much time I had left with him.

As soon as I was home, I tried to spend as much time as possible with him (he was staying with my grandparents). His lump was now infected and painful for him to stand on. He started hopping around and refraining from putting any weight on it at all. With this strain on his body, he started panting all the time and I knew he was becoming tired. We knew it was a matter of time and I’d come to terms with that idea, but it didn’t prepare me to see him physically decline. In his last few days, he stopped getting up to greet you when you arrived and he only got up when he knew he needed to go outside to relieve himself or when he knew he was being fed. He still wagged his tail when you spoke to him, and if anything I enjoyed those last few conversations we had more then anything else. The day he was put down was the worst day ever, and quite honestly a bit of a blur. So, my Autumn wasn’t great. I lost my best friend, and had my heartbroken in the process. Regardless of all of this, I’ve still found comfort in a few things…

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Seasonal Favourites

I was lucky enough to be able to attend two bonfire nights during October and November, one of which having the best food I have ever experienced. We also got to play with sparklers, sky lanterns, and even some fireworks (that sounds quite reckless but it was with friends, and we’re responsible. Or at least, most of us are). I have also been enjoying preparing for Christmas. As I write this now, I have just received an online order of gift wrap *squeals. This, in all honesty, is what has kept me going during losing Myles and I’ve tried to look forward and keep going as much as possible. 

 
Listening: 
I’ve been listening to podcasts, as usual, but have absolutely loved Estée LaLonde podcast called, The Heart of it. I loved all the episodes, however, the one featuring the topic of Strength sung to my heart a bit more than any of the others. I think as someone who has suffered from severe depression in the past, a lot of what was being said really resonated with me: plus I listened to this episode at a time when I wasn’t feel all that strong myself, which I think makes that episode stick out in my mind that little bit more. 
 
Watching: 
Okay so I’m totally late to the party with both these things but this season I have watched, wait for it… Stranger Things and Game of Thrones. No, nothing is wrong with me but in all honesty, when each of these programmes/new series’ came out I really weren’t bothered in the slightest about watching them. Now, having watched them, I can see what the fuss is about. Stranger Things was amazing and addictive. When I have my own house I’m definitely stringing lights all round it like Joyce Byers -you have to admit, those lights looked magical. I also loved the clothes they wore and I’m currently trying to resist a Borg corduroy jacket from ASOS, exactly like the one Nancy wears. 
 
Game of Thrones was unexpected but expected at the same time. I’ve seen snippets of it here and there, so I knew there was a lot of violence but I weren’t quite prepared for the nudity involved: which, I wouldn’t say I’m a prude but come on -theres a time and a place people! Regardless of this, I have really enjoyed it. I’m currently finishing up the third season. 
 
Looking forward to: 
Christmas and New Year. I’ve always enjoyed the lead up to Christmas a little bit more than Christmas day itself however, this year there’s much more going on for Christmas. I think I have five days in a row of solid plans which, although it’ll be exhausting, I’m also so excited for. I also have plans for New Year to which is the first in around 10 years, I’m so excited!

What have you enjoyed from Autumn? 
Cheerio for now! 
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Photography: James Coleman 

 

Whitby | 17

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After our few days in Nott’m, we headed up to stay with some friends in Middlesborough and then to Whitby on my birthday. Now the weather at Whitby was pretty grim. It was on and off drizzling and a van went through a puddle, soaking my boyfriend -not ideal (I briefly mentioned in my Wales posts that he gets crabby in the rain, they just don’t mix well). But despite this, we had a great day. 

Whitby is one of my favourite places. I love the harbour, the cobblestone streets with wonky old buildings and alleyways with shops poked here and there. I love the fact that everyone up’t Nor’ is so friendly, and you can chat with anyone without having weird looks thrown your way.

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We headed towards the Whitby abbey steps straight away. (Side note: wheelchairs and cobblestones do not mix well -they give you the worst back pain ever!). We actually picked up a bike lock in Nott’m for my wheelchair and used it a few times before abandoning my wheelchair at the bottom of the Whitby Abbey steps. I knew I wanted to give getting up the steps a pop, but I also knew I wouldn’t be able to walk to them and then do the stairs, so using my wheelchair was necessary. Conveniently enough, the steps have benches to the side of them every 10 stairs or so: the perfect rest breaks to not only rest my legs but also check out the amazing view of the harbour town. 

Once at the top, we went through the churchyard, taking in the ornate old tombstones and the view of the North Sea. We then headed on up to the Abbey, reading a little bit about the ruins before heading up to them. 

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Whitby Abbey is so pretty. It’s the type of place you wander around while wondering how it would have looked centuries ago and what people would have thought about it back then. What’s left of the abbey is essentially part of the shell of the original building. There are signs and illustrations showing what it may have looked like in the 13th Century, and they tell you quite a bit about how it would have been used too. 

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After a quick trip to the gift shop and a lot of spent pennies, we headed for some food and went to some shops before heading home. Whitby was an amazing day, and I’m so glad we got to go there on my actual birthday. 

 
Cheerio for now! 

Nottingham | 17

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In mid-October, we took a trip up’t Nor’ for my birthday. We planned to stay with some friends in Middlesborough and then head to Whitby on my actual birthday, but with my birthday falling on a Wednesday we decided why not extend the trip and go up a few days earlier. Trying to find a halfway point we landed on Nott’m for our destination and spent a few days there exploring before heading further north for my twenty-second birthday.

While in Nottingham we did a ton of things. We went to the Goose Fair, the Justice museum, saw the sky mirror, Lord Byron’s house, the Robin Hood statue, ate the worlds best pizza and doughnotts: as well as exploring some pretty cool shops and restaurants. Oh, and I got my nose pierced! …something I have wanted for such a long time but never actually gone through with it.

Nottingham was an amazing place, and somewhere I know I’ll want to revisit again and again. There were so many other places and restaurants where we didn’t get to explore or experience so another trip is definitely needed.

Cheerio for now! 
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