Oh Hello September, and hello a very shameful lack of blogging. But here it goes, the last eight months in ahem eight paragraphs? Let's give this a whirl....
So starting January, and being as depressed by the cold January blues as one can be, I figured the best way to beat it was to leave. And head to the sun of course! Always having had this romantic notion of Sri Lanka in my head I thought I'd follow this notion through, booked my flights, and a week later found myself in Heathrow airport opening the first pages of my Lonely Planet to read up on the place. Spontaneous? Yes. Silly? No. Probably more silly was my decision to get my nose septum pierced a few days prior. And wonder the eve before I was flying to Sri Lanka why it was hurting quite so much. Cue my boyfriend with a pair of pliers on it the evening before I depart for two months. Remove it we could not, so the morning before my flight I ended up in the only piercers open on a Sunday for them to tell me I had been pierced through the cartilage instead of the septum. Ouch. But hey, anything for fashion, right dahhhling? (it's now firmly out for good...)
So I landed pretty clueless in Sri Lanka with my plan of five weeks there, and then heading onto India after. A few days in, and my idea of five weeks in Sri Lanka wasn't quite looking as promising as my romantic notions had been. So I racked my brains for where else I could explore in the world, and then booked to head back to my favourite spot: Ubud. I mean, after the septum incident you have to play it safe sometimes right? So I cut my time short, and spent ten days more days in Sri Lanka trying to see and do all I could. I got fat off samosas for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and snacks); skinny from mountain treks in the dark; made friends with locals on the trains; watched the most stunning sunrises and sunsets; saw baby elephants in the wild; and basked on idyllic beaches.
And then ten days on I found myself back on a plane to my favourite spot in the world: Ubud. A large claim to make I know, and I when booking my return I found myself fearful that the beautiful memories I had made of Ubud would not seem as beautiful when I returned. Gladly this was not so, and when I arrived in the middle of a monsoon downpour with my backpack, unannounced at my old homestay - the grandma came out the house and exclaimed 'you're back!'. And I did feel back home.
Ubud is an amazing place. Known to the Balinese as the spiritual heart of Bali, I strongly believe this. When I am there I feel a sense of calm I can't seem to get anywhere else. And only in part due to the clean eating, pilates and kind people. Even the sun seeker in me wasn't disheartened by the daily monsoon which only seemed to enhance the beauty of the place. A couple of healers and a couple of weeks on, I left to head back the way I had come.
Then India called and oh, it was everything and more than I could have dreamt of. The country is awash with more sounds, smells, colours, people, madness and calmness then your senses can imagine. I found myself falling so easily in love with it. From riding camels through Jaisalmer desert, to watching the stars as we fell asleep, to watching the locals live from a house boat in Kochi, to drinking tea on the side of the roads, to acting like kings and queens drinking in the view of the Taj Mahal from the Oberoi, having each mealtime an explosion on your senses and tastebuds, seeing more head wobbles, envying more Saree's, and searching out the best Indian sweets in frantic markets.
I found the people as fascinating as they found me - the token white girl. People were kind, and given the nature of how poor people are, they're surprisingly generous. India can teach you life lessons again and again. And I know I will always return again and again.
But I came home and became sensible (ish) and acted, for once in my life, like an adult. Cue a lot of blood, sweat and tears (mainly tears and sweat) and me and my sister got a mortgage on a place in Peckham. Grown up, hey. Well, I did turn twenty-nine in June. And a twenty-nine year old needs to act their age. Or make the most of their last year of their twenties? I'll go for the latter.
So off to Glastonbury we headed. With enough booze to take down a small army, and many shoes that just would not survive the mud. Tough mudder when high would pretty much sum that long weekend up for me. That and the feeling that the world was going to end on returning to London. And only part to do with Brexit.
Secret Garden Party came as a vast contrast with England deciding to actually have a summer that weekend. And we basked in our sweat and smiles on the pagoda, dancing away. And the glitter which we so meticulously applied looked so meticulously skew-whiff in the heat. But who cares when you're with your best friends and dancing to Fleetwood Mac.
A few weekends ago was spent in Berlin clubs with best friends, where getting home at Ten AM has never been so acceptable. We all wore black and nonchalant faces to gain entry, and my friends advice to "dress like your walking your dog" worked well.
Oh and I moved house once again in all the frenzy, and went back freelance again, cracked more phones, lost more bankcards, turned vegetarian (barr that one drunk time in McDonalds with the nuggets), took up gym classes, left gym classes after the shock to the system ripped my ankle ligament, took up cycling to work on my lovely blue bike with a basket (and only singing Corinne-Bailey-Ray to myself sometimes when doing this), shot some more commercials here and abroad, started writing poetry again, got a few more grey hairs, definitely got a few more laughter lines, and learnt to make a pizza #wifeme
And yes I'm aware it's more than eight paragraphs, but hey - you try and encapsulate your year into bullet points. Especially when you love to talk...
Happy end of Summer everyone!