What happened in August?
I thought it was pretty appropriate that I finished my night shift on the morning of the 1st August which meant I had a brand new month to start my clean slate. So as I welcomed August, I said goodbye to my work place, my colleagues and my old job. I’ve touched on it before, but the first couple of weeks, I was weaving through a mix of emotions: excitement, fear, confusion, worry. I think it was just me coming to terms with this new stage in my life. But all of that aside, I needed to start making some I decisions.
One of my biggest decisions is whether or not I stay in my current city. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving to London for a while. I live in the North West of England and I’ve been here for nearly 10 years. It’s been great, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s time to move on.
I have a friend that I met at an event last year who lives in London and was looking for a flatmate. Lucky for me, she had a spare room free which I stayed in whilst I visited London. And it was also a mini test run to see how well I liked the area. It really was perfect timing.
She was really busy with shifts (she’s a medic) during my stay which meant I had the place to myself a lot of the time. A lot of alone time. Maybe too much? Sometimes, I’d just have to leave and go to a coffee shop to stop me from rocking back and forth. Cabin fever, I think it’s called. Eventually I came to the conclusion that though her place was lovely, it wasn’t for me. So, I’m still non the wiser about where I’ll be living but it’ll all work itself out in the end.
Notting Hill Carnival
I timed my visit to London so that I could go to the infamous Notting Hill Carnival. It was my first time and for those who’ve never been, it’s an annual event that’s hosted on the bank holiday weekend in August. It’s a celebration of Caribbean culture, so think colourful costumes, lots of feathers and sequins. It’s a two day event which starts very early and finishes very late. There’s a large parade that’s good to watch and then there’s a bunch of other small pockets of live stages, sound systems and then there’s food stalls dotted around as well. It really is incredible.
My advice is to go early and leave early. It becomes increasingly more busy as the day wears on. Streets are cordoned off and barricades are put up to protect neigbouring houses which means there’s less space. By late afternoon, everyone becomes crammed into one solid mass of bodies, and you just have to go with the current. Don’t fight the current, there are easier ways to die.
But still really fun though.
My hair was a bit worst for wear after months of just not giving it the attention it required. I wanted to cut it all off and start afresh. Have a physical manifestation of me shedding the old me. Plus, I’m sure it’s a requirement that you have a hair cut when you’re going through a big change, or else how will anyone else know that your having some sort of life crisis.
I don’t go to the hairdressers often because I tend to do my hair myself, but this time I wanted a professional. Plus my hair is immensely thick so I’d rather pay someone else to deal with it.
Five minutes into sitting in the chair and I knew it was going to be a disaster. There was a lot of tugging and pulling at my hair which I wasn’t expecting. I mean, I researched the salon to make sure that it would be able handle my sort of hair. You might be thinking I should have just left, but that would be immensely un-British. So, I reconciled with the fact that I was cutting it off anyway and accepted my fate. I mean I wasn’t totally mute, I made same minor suggestions then kept quiet.
In the end, I thanked her for the hair that looked nothing like the picture that I showed her. Obviously left a tip even though the price was already extortionate and I could have had it done at the barbers for a 1/5 of what I paid. I either laugh or cry. I should have just been more upfront and asked her to keep the yanking to a minimum.
Bought Myself A Present
As much as I love books (admiring the front covers, the new book smell, the gazing at them from my bookshelf and not getting around to opening them) they take up space. And with me travelling next month, it just doesn’t seem feasible to be logging about a suitcase full of books.
I thought a kindle would be the most appropriate purchase. I bought myself one and it took me a while to get used to. It reminded me of the Nokia 3310 circa 2000 with the black and white monochrome display. It wasn’t till someone reminded me that this was supposed to be better on the eyes that I finally started to appreciate it a bit more. Now, I actually like it. I mean it’s way lighter, it always keeps my page and it doesn’t fall onto my face as often. I got the original version, this one in black (amazon link). The first book I bought was Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, which I enjoyed reading. I thought it would be a bit of light reading, but it was an incredibly raw account of the author’s experiences which kept me hooked enough to finish it within a few days.
The next few months are a bit up in the air. I’ll be travelling for the whole of September but I don’t know what’ll be happening after that. I’m trying to worry less and not be so uptight about having to have control over everything. Which might explain why I’ve not got a schedule as to what I’ll be doing.