Closing Notes Of Summer

Okay, so summer may have technically ended a couple of weeks ago, but I had to share these absolutely lush pictures we shot earlier in the season while I could still get away with not posting tights, coats and boots.

This shoot also happens to be one of my very few favourite moments of summer 2017. To say this summer has been a challenging one for me would be an understatement. Not as challenging, of course, as so many others who have lost their homes and loved ones in the string of natural calamities we’ve seen over the past couple of months. And while that definitely tend to put things in perspective, I don’t think that it is necessarily fair to trivialize one’s own issues and challenges in a forced attempt to ‘see the bigger picture’ and force yourself to get over things sooner than you feel ready to do.

It all started rather optimistically – I passed my driving test on my first attempt which was a huge deal for me, and James went away on his annual eight week business trip, which was perfect timing as when he returned at the end of May, we could enjoy the entire summer together. However, towards the end of his trip, something terrible happened that really shook us to our very core. I happened to be at the very same Ariana Grande concert that was bombed earlier this year. And while I was very lucky to get away unharmed, the trauma that followed the incident was challenging and confusing and so incredibly emotional.

James was able to cut his trip short and fly home to be with me, but only about a week after his return, we moved into his family home as they were going away on holiday, to house sit and look after the six dogs like we had committed to doing before everything happened. I was on my own a lot during those two weeks as James was at work all day and training for a cyclathon after work and since they live out in the beautiful Cheshire countryside, about an hour’s drive from our home in Manchester, not being able to do everyday things like see my friends or go to work or the gym or into town to the shops was a bit isolating. I feel really bad saying this, but as much as I love visiting their beautiful home, two weeks where it did nothing but rain, with mainly dogs for company, drove me a little insane!

In the middle of all of this, my mum was supposed to visit and spend my birthday with me in June. I had spent so much time planning all the things we’d do together since it would have been the first time she’d have visited us after our wedding. I couldn’t tell you how excited I was about her trip, but unfortunately, she fell sick quite close to her date of departure and wasn’t well enough to make the 11hr+ journey.

We were then told that James had to go back out to the Phileppines and India for yet another two month trip that nobody had anticipated. And to cheer me up from everything that had happened recently, he booked us a spontaneous holiday to Turkey for my birthday and thought I could join him in Mumbai for part of his trip and get to see my mum, too. However, all our plans completely capsized when we arrived at the airport and I wasn’t allowed to travel as my passport was damaged and we didn’t know. We lost all the money for our holiday and I wasn’t able to fly out to India with James because I needed to stay in the UK and apply for a new passport.

I finally got a new passport and was able to fly to India and join James on the last few days of his trip there. Unfortunately, it was the monsoon in India and it did nothing but rain the entire time we were there, so we couldn’t really go anywhere or do anything. Three of my five closest friends back home were traveling or unwell, so I couldn’t see them so eventually all I ended up doing was a bunch of bank stuff and life admin, although I did get to spend a lot of time with my mum, who was well by then, which was wonderful.

During all of this, I had a bit of a meltdown when it came to blogging. What used to be one of my favourite things in the world to do now seemed uninspiring and tedious. It made me feel irrelevant, unworthy, unattractive and just generally awful about myself that I actually decided to quit. I didn’t want to be a part of a world where people just cheated their way to success with inferior content and bought followers while the rest of us put so much hard work into creating beautiful content and got ignored by brands we wanted to work with because we chose to maintain our integrity by not buying our followers or posting loads of racy photos to Instagram with a one-line caption. And while I decided not to quit in the end (here I still am two months later), I did come to the decision that I no longer want to persue fashion as a career, but branch into public relations in the lifestyle sphere – a move that feels very organic for me, given my experience and transferrable skills. So all the soul searching did pay off in the end.

I came back to the UK and went back to work and before I knew what, two weeks on my own had just whizzed by and it was time for James to come home again. And this time – he decided to surprise and treat me with a present for being really supportive – a gorgeous new Mulberry bag! Also, I was due a computer upgrade (I had been using James’ old Macbook from university which was at least eight years old and on its last legs) and when an opportunity came up for really low monthly installments that I could actually afford, I finally took the plunge.

Feeling inspired by my new tech and my new working high-flying-career-girl bag, I took the opportunity to completely redo my CV from a PR perspective and got back to blogging with a renewed sense of enthusiasm! We also had a holiday to Greece coming up at the end of September which I’d been looking forward to since we booked it six months ago, so things were looking up, right? Wrong.

When we went to apply for my Schengen visa to go to Greece, we were told that they couldn’t accept my paperwork for the visa as my residence permit needed to be valid for 90 days after my return from Greece. And since it is due for renewal in October, it wasn’t. The dates wouldn’t really allign so we were able to renew it before we got to go to Greece either. So in the end, another holiday fell through, but at least we were refunded most of our money by the holiday company and may be able to redeem some more with them in credit. However, till then, all we’re left with is a bunch of paperwork to renew my residence permit in a couple of weeks. And six dogs in our apartment as James’ family is away on holiday so we’re puppy-sitting again.

So there you have it – my tale of the summer from the hell. Barring, of course, a few golden moments – James’ cutting his business trip short to be with me after the terror attack (how gallant and romantic – still gushing three months later haha), my stunning Mulberry bag and new computer, passing my driving test, a wonderful bank holiday weekend, new friends, creating some fab blog content (including this shoot – my favourite of all time) and an exciting new prospective career. I was also nominated for a Northern Blog Award and even though I didn’t win, it was such a huge honour to even be nominated, I’m still on top of the world! I also managed to help so many women get their dream jobs by volunteering as a stylist at Smart Works. And in the end, everyone I love is healthy, happy and safe, so what more could I ask for?

I’m really looking forward to a fresh new season filled with exciting career prospects, blogging, events (including watching an artist and a comedian I love and the most glamorous Gossip Girl-esque masquerade ball) and wardrobe updates, of course! A couple of close friends are also moving to the UK and I can’t wait to spent time with them. Not to mention the fact that my mum is now planning a winter trip, and I can’t wait to take her round the Christmas markets, exploring Chester, Liverpool and London, meeting some of my closest friends and just spending lots of time together as a family. Here’s raising a Pumpkin Spiced Latte to the next six months, may they be better than the last six, sprinkled with a touch of magic and be everything we wish for them to be.

{PHOTOGRAPHY} Alexander Ward

{Outfit Details}

Dress: Dorothy Perkins | Hat: H&M | Sunglasses: Dior

Follow:

2 Comments

  1. Palack
    September 24, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    You inspire me so much! Reading your posts are like boost of optimism. There are bloggers like you who would not let blogging die at the hands of fake followers and unethical practices. Much love and power to you! Xoxo

  2. October 2, 2017 / 4:00 am

    I love this post so much – it was a perfect reminder as to why I followed bloggers back when it was a rare phenomenon, and why I enjoy blogging. Quality content is hard to find these days but Anushka, Bombay Bubble was always my happy place in fashion and I’m so happy to see Mascara Every Saturday being as authentic and pure as your lovely self. Here’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte to all that is good in your world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *