I can’t quite believe that this weekend we kissed goodbye to summer 2019. Summer is, without a doubt, my favourite season. I love the long, warm days, the bright mornings, the hazy sunsets. I love the warmer weather, how glorious Wales is in the sunshine, and I adore that feeling as though summer will never end. And then, abruptly, it always does and within the space of a few weeks we go from beautifully long days, to the nights drawing in and the days getting shorter by the minute.
Don’t get me wrong, I love autumn with its crisp, cool mornings and incredible low sunsets, that feeling that Christmas is coming closer and cosy nights in with fluffy blankets and scented candles. But it also means the on-set of winter, and despite being a January baby, I am not a fan of the cold. I don’t like the snow, I hate the fact its always dark, and I spend January through to April wishing away the winter blues.
Summer this year has been pretty awesome, despite it’s challenges. I think it’s good to look back sometimes, and to see that there have been more ups than there have downs, especially when your feelings lately have been a little fragile. For the most part, it’s been a tale of two halves. The first being the craziness of my work contracts, which have seen me darting around the country and seriously stressing about finding other jobs when these ones finish, though I’ve worked with so many wonderful people and have gained so much in the way of skills and experience. The rest of summer has been pretty chilled. I’ve focused on myself and what I like to do, and despite the loneliness I’ve often felt with my boyfriend being away in New Zealand, it’s probably been pretty good for me to be on my own.
There have been travels, namely to the beautiful Amalfi Coast in Italy which was simply the most amazing week of exploring and eating. I loved every second and it was so great to take my mum to Italy as it’s somewhere she had never been before. I have been so lucky to visit some wonderful countries further afield over the last year, but a European summer break will always be up there for me. I’ve also done some more travelling closer to home, visiting a lot more of Wales and also heading to Bath and visiting the Thermae Spa.
There’s been a little hiking, and a lot of running. I vowed when I got back from New Zealand that I would make the most of what’s on my door step, and I’ve really enjoyed hiking in places new and familiar, and I’ve loved exploring new parts of the Wales Coastal Path. I’ve also loved running this year. It’s been a constant for me, and I’ve been tying up my trainers and pounding the pavements twice a week where I can. The best thing for me has been the sense of peace running has given me. It’s been amazing to get out into the fresh air, and to push my body to the limit, and it’s done wonders for my mental health. This year has been testing in many ways, but running and walking has been something I’ve done a lot of and it always helps me to feel relief.
I’ve also really made the most of living in Cardiff this summer, despite working outside of the city. There have been festivals of music and food that I’ve visited with friends, I’ve finally ticked some tasks off the “Cardiff Bucket List” I crafted with a friend at the start of the year. I’ve made the most of the independent cafes, restaurants and events that have been going on over the past few months, and I’ve really loved it.
There’s been a serious lack of alcohol which is a change compared to how my summer was spent when I moved back to Cardiff two years ago, and I can safely say I am more than happy with that. I’ve come to realise over the last two years that for me, alcohol is the devil, and I always end up feeling like sh*t for days after just a few drinks. I’m more than happy going out and sticking to a lime and soda, and waking up fresh the next day.
And despite the ups, there have been downs. I’ve felt lonely. I’ve worried about work and whether I’m doing the right thing in opting to work contract by contract. I’ve really missed my boyfriend and at times have been crazily busy, so busy that I find myself exhausted at the end of the week, with no one to lean on as I’m living alone. It has been tough and I’ve got my wonderful mum to thank for always being my rock, but for the most part, there’s been peace and quiet. Long evening walks by the sea, early Sunday mornings spent reading on my balcony, and spending lots of time in the countryside.
Autumn brings with it lots of excitement. First up is the Cardiff Half Marathon, and in less than 4 weeks, Shane will be on his way home and I’ll be on route to Rome to meet him! I’m so excited for a few days together exploring a city that has always been on my bucket list, before we start the next adventure when he finally comes back to Wales.
Lots of love. xoxo