The Big 3.0

This coming Friday I will turn 30. To say I am not thrilled at the prospect would be an understatement.

It seems like only yesterday I was turning 21. Oh, how young and hopeful I was back then. The years were stretching before me, filled with possibilities. I could be anything I wanted to be.

Okay, so maybe I am being a bit dramatic and I am sure there will be those of you who will be of the mindset that you can be anything you want to be no matter what age you are. Carpe diem and all that. The only thing holding you back is you.

Yes, it is true that life is what you make it. Unfortunately, it is also true that when you are a woman and of a certain age there are also certain expectations of you. By the time you reach 30 you are expected to have a place of your own (ha!), be on your way to engaged or married and be progressing well in your career.

Maybe these are old-fashioned views, but I certainly still feel like they apply to my life. It does not help that when I log onto Facebook another person from school has either bought their first home, got engaged or announced they are pregnant. After a while you do start looking at your own life and thinking, where did I go wrong?

I know I should not compare myself to others. It is not healthy and the sensible part of my brain does acknowledge that everyone is different. No two lives follow the same trajectory. And life really isn’t all that bad.

My twenties were a mixed bag, but I am sure everyone feels the same. I had some wonderful highs and some terrible lows. Crucially, I have made achievements in the last ten years. They may be small ones but they still matter. In the last decade I have successfully completed two degrees, met some amazing people who I think myself lucky to call my friends, got a good job and met an amazing man who makes every day so much better (corny, yes, but it’s true).#

I may not have ticked off many of the ‘big’ life goals, but I guess that makes the prospect of my thirties more exciting. There are still lots of things left on my bucket list and I will hopefully tick many of them off in the next ten years. Age is just a number. We should not feel defined by it. I may be saying adieu to my twenties, however I will continue to read YA, to express my love for Harry Potter/Disney/Pusheen through t-shirts and merchandise and to listen to pop songs. My passion for these things doesn’t have to change because I am turning 30. In reality, life won’t change. As you grow older you do change, but this happens in slowly, over the course of months and years. I know I won’t be the same person I am now in another ten years’ time, however that will be down to more life experience.

Goodbye twenties, it was (mostly) fun. Here’s to you, thirties. Let’s see what adventures you have in store for me.

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The One Where I Went to Friends Fest

If you’re of a certain age then you will inevitably be a fan of Friends. To be honest, I came to it a bit late. I never actually watched the show when it aired on TV. It wasn’t until 2010 that I really started to watch re-runs of it and, finally, got hooked.

Fast-forward seven years and I have now seen every episode countless times. Season 5 is my favourite because I love when Chandler and Monica first got together. Whenever I need a quick pick-me-up, I automatically reach for an episode of Friends. There is something timeless about it that I think everyone in their twenties and thirties can relate to.

When I heard about Friends Fest last year I was disappointed that there were no Scottish events that I could go to. Once again this year it didn’t come north of the border, but I wasn’t about to let that put me off. I had decided that I was going and so I managed to get tickets for one of the London events, which just so happened to be last Wednesday.

On arriving at Friends Fest the first thing that caught my eye was the Vegas Wedding Chapel – a chance to dress up as either a Centurion or bride and pose for a picture. My boyfriend got dragged along and although I don’t think he’d ever admit it, I think he secretly had fun getting to dress up as a Centurion.

Continue reading “The One Where I Went to Friends Fest”

Reasons I Love Autumn

Happy September everyone!

Can you believe how quickly this year is speeding by? Tomorrow is the start of Freshers’ Week but it only feels like the students broke up for the summer last week. My elders were forever saying to me when I was a child that the years fly by the older you get, and I now totally understand what they meant. It is less than 7 weeks until I turn 30! How did that even happen?

Anyway, I digress. September may mean back to school and university, but it also means that autumn is upon us. And it just so happens that autumn is my favourite season. Yes, I like summer. I like the long days and getting up in the daylight and being able to eat out till 9.30pm and going to the beach and eating ice cream, but…well, I haven’t actually been able to do any of those things this year. Summer has well and truly bypassed Scotland. And even if I had done all those things, they just don’t compare to all the great things autumn signifies.

Like what, I hear you ask? Well, here are my reasons why I think autumn is the best.

Beautiful Colours

I simply love, love, love how colourful autumn is. All the golds, amber, reds, yellows, browns…everywhere you look there is colour. As a lover of all things pretty and photographic, I can’t help but sigh over autumn scenery. Once the leaves turn it is like the world is gifting photographers with a ready-made canvas. Nothing can rival an autumn forest with a blue sky and fluffy clouds. Whenever I look back at our photos from Aberfeldy in October 2015, I am struck again by how breath-taking autumn is. Autumn is basically nature showing off, a bit like the male peacock when he fans out his tail feathers. Continue reading “Reasons I Love Autumn”

Dalkeith Country Park

Last Saturday was the one and only day of Scottish summer (well, unless the forecast is right and next week is nice and sunny and warm, but I’m not about to hold my breath as I have the week off work so it’s bound to chuck down with rain). Considering I spend 98% of my days stuck in an office, I was not going to miss the chance to be out in the sun, so off we set for Dalkeith Country Park.

Dalkeith Country Park is so ridiculously easy to get to I have no idea why we have never visited until now. Seriously, it took us maybe 25 minutes tops to drive there. Little did we realise until we were pulling onto the A720 that the Dalkeith Show was on last Saturday so it was crazy busy. Getting parked was a bit of challenge and we may have had a small domestic, but it was worth all the stress in the long run.

The main house is not open to visitors, but it sits atop a hill, looking down on the massive lawn and everything going on in the main area of the Park. It was an impressive view and I don’t really think our pictures do it justice. Incidentally, we both agreed that the lawn would make the ideal place of a picnic. There were quite a few families dotted about, just soaking up the sun and the stunning view of the Montague Bridge.

Continue reading “Dalkeith Country Park”

Positive Image

In the past few weeks I have seen a lot of posts on social media and blogs from girls I consider beautiful and flawless admitting that they don’t like the way they look. Having spent my whole life feeling self-conscious about my weight and bad skin, it really struck a chord with me. In one way it was almost comforting to know that these gorgeous women who have hundreds of followers on Instagram and look amazing in every picture they share are plagued by the same worries and anxieties that I am.

On the other hand, it also made me stop and question why we put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way. When I think back to my teenage years, I can’t remember a time I didn’t compare my looks to that of other women, be it the popular girls at school or actresses on TV and in films. With the rise of social media, and in particular photo sharing sites such as Instagram, there seems to be an increasing feeling among young people that they have to present a certain image of themselves to the world.

Interestingly I know quite a few of my friends who don’t like getting their photo taken. They will look at pictures taken on nights out or special occasions and say they look awful. Until recently I didn’t realise that I also do this. Looking back over recent pictures I found myself disliking how I looked in every single one.

It was that attitude that inspired this post. I wanted to try to boost my self-esteem and show myself that despite my imperfections, I can look nice in a photograph. I decided to share a recent picture of me that I quite like.

At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I like this photo because I actually look happy. It was taken on a day trip to Stirling and it was one of the first times I had felt properly happy in months. I also like my hair in this picture, especially the wash-out blue streaks I had sprayed in that morning. I might not look perfect, but that’s because I’m not. I’m nearly 30 so of course I have crow’s-feet. Instead of focusing on that as a sign of ageing, I want to see it as a sign of maturity, of gaining life experience and wisdom.

All of us have something about ourselves that we would like to change. I think it’s human nature to never be one hundred perfect satisfied with how we look. I know I am always going to wish I was thinner and had better hair, but instead of letting this get to me I am going to try to accept my imperfections and realise that, given the right light and angle, I can look okay in a photo.

2017 So Far

It’s nearly June, which means we will be in the sixth month of the year. Am I alone in feeling like we have reached this point really quickly?

To be fair, the year started out quite slow. January and February seemed to last forever. Since March, however, the months have been speeding by. Maybe it is the lighter nights and mornings, but spring 2017 has been something of a whirlwind. In some ways I hope the weeks continue to pass quickly. I have a whole week off in July, my first full week this year, and I am so ready for it. On the other hand, the faster the months go in the sooner it is to my 30th birthday. I don’t think I’m quite ready to hit that milestone yet. Continue reading “2017 So Far”

Wanderlust

I don’t know if it’s because it’s felt like winter for ages or if it’s looking back at my twenties and realising I haven’t made the most of them, but all of a sudden I really, desperately want to travel. It’s almost as if I have been living in a bubble for the last 29 years, happily oblivious to the rest of the world and now I’ve been jolted out of that bubble and I just want to go everywhere.

Perhaps it’s a result of working in an office with so many well-travelled colleagues. Hearing their travel tales and seeing some of the travel pictures has sparked a desire to visit somewhere completely new. There is so much to see and do in Scotland alone, but I am increasingly becoming aware of how many other holiday options there are out there and now that I am earning a steady and reasonably decent salary, I feel like I can maybe afford to go to another country.

For a while now I have been determined to make this the year I finally go abroad. With my 30th birthday looming, I feel like it’s about time I started venturing to places outside of the UK. My other half has been told that for my birthday I don’t want flowers or chocolates or perfume, I want to go on holiday. Over Christmas we researched flights and I now have a bucket list of places for him to choose from. My birthday is not until October, however, and it just seems incredibly far away. For whatever reason I want to travel and I want to travel now.

Unfortunately I will have to wait, but in the meantime I will torture myself by sharing my bucket list of places I really want to travel to. Hopefully in the next five years we can get through some of them. I better get saving!

  • Copenhagen – This is my first choice for my birthday. The flights are relatively cheap which is a bonus and I have heard nothing but good things from everyone who has ever been there. I did some research and there looks to be loads of things to see from castles to canals and, of course, the Little Mermaid statue. I’m already day dreaming about the photo opportunities in my head.
  • Iceland – Second on my list; the other half is not as keen because he thinks it will be cold in October. Normally I am not a fan of the cold but one of my colleagues recently visited Iceland and she has been raving about it ever since. The Blue Lagoon looks amazing and I also want to go for a chance to see the Northern Lights. What could be more romantic?
  • Paris – Originally I wanted to go to Paris for my birthday, but with recent events in the city I kind of got put off. Some of my friends have also advised that Paris is super busy and I know my boyfriend wouldn’t like that. London crowds annoy me after five minutes, so I don’t know if I would actually enjoy Paris. That said, there is something about seeing the Eiffel Tower on TV and in pictures that just evokes a sense of romance.
  • New York – Ever since I my obsession with Gossip Girl circa 2010 I have wanted to go to New York. As a certified shopaholic I would be in my element, although I probably would come home bankrupt. Needless to say I have always wanted to catch a Broadway show and stand in Times Square. I love the idea of visiting at Christmas to see all the lights and window displays.
  • Vienna – I don’t know why but I have always fancied a trip to Vienna. I don’t really know much about the city, I just always feel like it would be a nice place to visit.
  • Finland – A bit like with Iceland, the lure of Finland is the chance to see the Northern Lights. There is a place called Kakslauttanen which is a series of glass igloos which allow you to lie in bed and gaze up at the sky. Ever since I saw a picture of this place I have been longing to go. I just imagine it would be incredibly romantic and amazing. I’m hoping I can persuade my boyfriend to overlook the cold and take me some time.

There are many more places I could add. I really like the idea of Cyprus and Malta for a sunnier holiday. If I listed them all I would be here all day. It might also end in me booking an impromptu flight and I don’t know how I would explain that one to my other half!

What is on your travel bucket list? Do you have any recommendations? Hit the comments with them and happy holiday planning.