When I started this blog, I had ambitions of writing weekly posts and becoming a ‘proper’ blogger. I guess everyone has the same idea at the beginning. But, despite sharing a handful of book reviews, I have been radio silent for two whole years.
Two whole years.
When I put it in writing like that, it’s almost scary. What have been doing in that time? Well, let me fill you in…
At the start of 2018 I started a new job at independent publisher Kogan Page. Six months prior, I had decided that I simply had to work in publishing, combining my love of books with my passion for digital marketing. I spent nearly six months searching and applying for suitable roles, and was excited to start working for a company whose values aligned with mine.
Reading, and my blog, started to take a back seat. I wanted to put all of my efforts into my new role, and it took me a while to adjust to my new daily commute into London.
Me and my boyfriend, Scott, were living with his parents, saving for a deposit so we could buy our first home, so we spent most of our weekends watching Netflix in bed. I was too tired and, with all our money going into savings, too poor to do much else.
In May, we managed a short camping trip to Devon and Cornwall, visiting Land’s End, St Michael’s Mount, and the Valley of the Rocks. The weather was glorious and we had a well-deserved week off the grid enjoying each other’s company.
After a few more months of working, saving, and not doing much else, we decided we needed another mini-break. In October, Scott went to Malta with his friends, and I went to Budapest with mine.
Budapest was refreshing, busy, and cheap. We spent a long weekend exploring the city sights, including the Széchenyi Bath and the many ruins bars!
Just before, I found out I had received a ballot place in the London Marathon 2019. It’s always been on my bucket list, and knowing it was notoriously difficult to get in, I had made a habit of applying each year for the past couple of years, not really expecting anything to happen. So you can imagine my shock! I wasn’t doing ANY running before I got my place, so vowed to start training once I returned from Budapest.
The winter of 2018 was filled with saving and training. We spent Christmas at my parents and essentially hibernated until the Spring.
In January, we started house hunting and put an offer in on a two-bedroom house close to the train station. It was small, but perfect for our needs tucked away in a little corner with a conservatory and a small garden. Thankfully, our offer was accepted and we launched into preparations for the move!
In February, I started studying for the IDM Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing. Although working in digital marketing for 5 years, I didn’t have a formal qualification, so when my company offered to pay for me to study with the IDM I jumped at the chance. At this point, I was training 3-4 times a week for the marathon and chasing solicitors for paperwork regarding the move – so I can definitely say I had my hands full!
April came, and so did race day. I’d only ever watched the London Marathon previously through my TV set, and now, with only six months of training starting from absolutely ZERO, I was running the full 26.2 miles of it! With my family and friends on the sidelines, I did it in just over 5 hours. I didn’t achieve my target time, but I was still proud of what I had managed to achieve, raising over £1,000 for Shelter from the Storm in the process.
ONE WEEK LATER we moved into our new home. I remember feeling slightly disappointed, although I’ve now come to understand that is a very normal experience; with the house empty, it looked smaller and the flaws really stood out. However, as we started unpacking I realised that the flaws would be fixed as we re-decorated, and the size was ideal for the two of us. It was OURS. No more living with the boyfriend’s parents (although they were perfectly lovely) – we could spend all day in our pajamas if we wanted to, and let the washing up pile up on the side if we couldn’t be bothered to do the dishes right away. WE COULD DO WHAT WE WANTED.
A month later, my manager/mentor/friend left Kogan Page to work for a new company. I was gutted (I cried when it was announced because it took me by surprise!), but once the dust settled I realised this could be an opportunity for my own career development. I applied and interviewed for her old position, and after a tense few weeks was given the promotion! Whilst this was a huge boost for my confidence and ego, I suddenly found myself having to learn a lot in a short amount of time during handover, as well as recruit for my old position. 2019 was not going to allow me a chance to rest yet!
It took until the end of the year for my life to calm down and adjust to the ‘new normal’. By this time I had completed two assignments and one exam as part of my IDM course, decorated three rooms, and hired and trained a new colleague.
You could say that 2019 was the year where I excelled, but I longed for 2020 to bring more restful times, as well as a couple of well deserved holidays!
January was a really good month for reading. I felt much more settled and read 6 books in the first 4 weeks of the year, which is a lot for me! What’s more, by the end of February I had 4 holidays booked for the upcoming year. One week in the south of France with Scott’s family, one week in Cornwall with my family, a long weekend in Vienna with my friends, and a week of skiing in Bulgaria. I was living my best life!
But it’s safe to say that the ‘new normal’ didn’t last long. We’ve now caught up to the present day. It’s April, and I’ve been working from home for 6 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. I’m not expecting to go on any of my planned holidays, and I’ve hit another reading slump. Despite saving nearly 3 hours a day by not commuting, I can’t seem to find the time/motivation to read. I’ve only read one book since lockdown started (Good Omens), but I’m pleased to say I’m starting to feel inspired again.
Life is full of twists and turns, but I feel like I now have the time and energy to dedicate to my little corner of the internet. Books have always brought me joy, and if I can share that feeling with only a handful of others then that’ll be enough for me.
I won’t promise to write and post regularly, because that’s not me. But even if there are a few gaps on here, you’ll find me lurking on Twitter (I think Bookish Twitter is one of the loveliest communities on the internet).
Anyway, enough about me. I think I’ve filled you in on all the important bits. What have you been up to? What books are you desperate to talk about? Comment below or message me on Twitter – I’m all ears!