A Funny Old Time

It has been a funny old week, the beginning of my last assessed period of university, and the start of the last interminable stretch before Mr Hello gets his cosy little toosh on a plane to come and pick me up. A mixed bag of tricks, if you will.

GOING UP:

All of my assessments (bar one, rather critical one, my school placement) have been submitted. There is now nothing I can do about it, and my results are in the hands of the gods. Or my lecturers, which is somewhat one and the same, if the stories are to be believed. I’m so freaking relieved, it’s incredible how we put the pain of assignments out of our minds once they’ve been completed. It can be QUITE torturous. Oh well, all done now, and qualification is just around the corner! Hoo-friggin-rah.

I’ve semi-successfully changed my sleeping hours so that I wake at a reasonable hour, not the 1:30pm that had become my norm. It’s quite a pleasure to be awake as the world rises, and although it means I’m yawning at 10:30pm. Not quite such a pity seeing as I have renounced every possible form of a social life. Over my first few years in the workforce I realised I much prefer having extra time to get ready rather than more time in bed, and so when I get in a habit of waking up on time I like to linger over an extra cup of coffee or reading one more blog post. I realise this is what is known as an INCREDIBLY BORING THING TO SHARE but at the same time, such is my life, and I daresay most people’s lives tend to revolve as much around the mundane in life as mine. At least I hope so!

 

GOING DOWN DOWN DOWN:

I am totally and utterly obsessed with the thought of seeing Mr H again. He’s my default thought with every mental break I can get. I don’t know if any of you have undertaken a long distance relationship (LDR) before, but let me tell you, it’s not something I would recommend. I’ve luckily (wonderfully and gratefully) been in the position to never once question my partner’s fidelity, but the terrible thing has been the intense boredom that has pervaded my life since we parted. Sure, life is beautiful and glorious without him being next to me, but it sure as hell ain’t half as interesting. Recounting a funny incident on the train isn’t quite the same as laughing uncontrollably over a shared experience. Catching someone falling asleep just as you’re waking up does not make for particularly fulfilling conversations. You begin to live on faith, despite your belief system. You just have to trust that you’re still in love with someone, even though you KNOW that you are, but you somehow don’t feel it quite so much as you do when you can roll over and kiss their hot cheek next to you in bed. It’s agony, truth be told. Boring, hellish, and seemingly never-ending agony.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that my right shin had developed shin splints, which caused me to take a break from my new running regime. Unfortunately I took it upon myself to discount numerous medical recommendations and took a mere 1 week break from running, which has proven to be totally insufficient. I was struggling on with the pain before I realised that in combination with the terrible blisters I was still developing, there was no hope for me to run in the future if I didn’t take a proper break. My blistered feet aren’t quite recovered yet (mores the pity) but the status of my shins is yet to be determined. I’m not sure if the self-inflicted break is a balm to my lazy-leaning temperament or stressing me out even more, but I feel anxious about it and I want to get back to running as soon as possible, if only to prove my inner lazy yet critical demon wrong.

Lastly, someone in my close family is going through a terrible time with chronic depression at the moment. I don’t feel totally comfortable sharing more details online at the moment, but I want you all to know that if you’re in the same boat, you sure as hell aren’t alone.

~

 

Ladies I Like: Sad Jane

Over the last couple of years I spent in the UK, I found myself in a group of friends who were all doing amazing entrepreneurial things with their lives. I got a bit more of an insight into the business side of blogging, as well as what it was like to start up a little bunting company of my own. It definitely gave me a taste of how exciting being self employed can be, and now I bow down to the amazing creatives who do it for themselves.

Back in Australia now, I’ve recently discovered that one such amazing creative is my old uni pal Lisa Henderson of Sad Jane Designs. Sad Jane is an events management company, incorporating styling and a range of hand made homewares and clothing made by Lisa’s fine hand. Starting off by attending markets, earlier this year Lisa took the plunge and opened up a store of her own, in the Bon Marché arcade off Barrack Street, in Perth City. I went and took my first look around on Friday

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It’s pretty cute, hey? I love the sweet, quirky 60’s inspired aesthetic that Lisa’s chosen to be really classic Sad Jane territory. Inside the shop is Lisa’s studio space, so a lot of products are made on site, or customised there with silk screening or embroidery by Lisa herself. Everything is SO reasonably priced as well, which is amazing in a city like Perth, where merely stepping out your front door means you’ve spent $50. Ugh.

So if you’re looking for an amazing one of a kind dress and can’t find it, or a gift for the pal that has everything you could have thought of, please go and see Sad Jane. She’ll sort you out good and proper, and you’ll be supporting an amazing female entrepreneur. What’s not to love?

The deers:
Sad Jane Designs

Shop 12 & 14 Bon marche Arcade

80 Barrack Street

Perth, Western Australia

What Does Success Look Like?

We’ve spent part of this semester at university talking about assessing our future students, and how the way we assess has an effect on our student’s success. Sharing ‘success criteria’ with our students improves their performance – sounds obvious I know, but it was a bit of an eye opener for me. Knowing what success looks like, and knowing what you need to do to be successful means it’s easier to achieve it. Talk about woah.

It got me thinking, what does success criteria for life look like? I’m not so sure that it still looks the same as it did 20 years ago, hell, even 10 years ago when I was daydreaming about being an adult! When I was 16 I thought success was being an actress on stage, in a slinky frock at awards events. I thought success was having people think you’re great and telling you constantly.

Some people think success is having a few extra zeroes on the right side of their bank balance, and some think it’s having that corner office with the view. Others find themselves out of the workforce in their late 50’s but sleep easy knowing that they raised human beings that they’re proud of.  I know the huge amount of work that all of those types of success require, but I’ve also come to terms with the fact that they’re not the absolute definition of success for me.

What’s my definition? I’ll show you:

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Photo on 11-08-2014 at 2.28 pm

 

 

Good food, a happy home, two lovely cats (formerly an oxymoron), a lover whom I adore and a brand new career ahead of me.

It was a long and winding road to get here, and it sure would have been a weight off my mind if someone had come up to me five years ago and said “Here. Here are the things that will make you happy. Do life like this”. There are times when I wish someone had, but more often I think I wouldn’t have listened, and just thundered on regardless. We value things when we know how hard we worked to get them, and that they came at some sort of cost.

It might not be the done thing to decide that you’re successful at 26 when you’re still in university and not earning a wage. But on this bright, cool Tuesday morning while I am avoiding my last paper due on Friday, I say to hell with it. I’m celebrating the successes I’ve had so far in my life, and looking forward to many more, no matter what shape they take.

Dual Citizenship Baby!

Yesterday I received the happy news that my application for Polish citizenship has come through at last. I was lucky to be eligible through my heritage, as my grandparents were Polish refugees before they settled in Australia permanently. I pursued this route because I wanted to stay in the UK, where I’d built a life for myself, but I also wanted to be there on my own two feet so to speak, with the same responsibilities and rights as a British citizen. No immigration issues means that my marriage is focussed on the love I share with my partner, not my need to get a slip of paper from the government. This news also means that I can start to work in time for the UK Term 2, which will be fantastic and gives me the opportunity to settle into a job properly before the wedding.

Getting the news gave rise to some really profound emotions. Over this year, while back in Australia in my Grandmother’s house, I’ve reconnected to their history and the story of their journey. My great aunt wrote a memoir about their time in Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Uganda, which was incredibly insightful and made me realise how different my life could have been if my family had not been so resilient. It was hard enough choosing to become an immigrant when I knew I could always return home if I wanted: I can hardly imagine how difficult it must have been to realise you could never go home. Even if you did, the country you loved was no longer the same.

I feel so proud, lucky and grateful to call myself Polish. I feel as though I don’t really deserve it. I feel as though this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m looking forward to spending some more time in Poland once I’ve settled back in Europe.

Now for some photos of the people I have to thank for this great day:

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My grandparents, Henryk and Halina.

 

 

Wedding Planning: The Photographer

If you have ever had anything to do with weddings in your life, you’ve probably heard the story of the bride run ragged by wedding planning, while the groom sits, blissfully unaware with a pint in the pub. Get him involved in the process! the wedding blogs cry, make it a day about both of you!

Happily (sadly?), I never had such a problem. Mr Hello is so extremely excited to be planning a wedding, I can hardly get a word in (I don’t really mean that, J, if you’re reading…teehee?). He was blazing, all cylinders agogo. The trouble was, after the initial decisions had been made, there was a little…er….disconnect on what and where our priorities were, in that we had different ideas about the value of certain services that usually get hired with the whole wedding  kit and caboodle….like getting a professional to capture the day, instead of a friend with a camera.

Now this is not to say that a friend with a camera can’t take wonderful pictures. In fact I have several friends who take absolutely gorgeous photographs. But I know Mr H’s friends, and more to the point I know my friends, and they’re going to want to be front and centre on the D-floor, and I certainly don’t want to ask them to stay sober and focussed for the whole day. Focussed, yes. On being the opposite of sober.

So, to get Mr H fully on board with the idea, I asked him to find a photographer he was happy to use. What he decided on both surprised and delighted me.

We Heart Pictures is an alternative wedding photographer based in London. The husband and wife team of Hector and Charlie are the ‘antithesis of traditional wedding photography’ (LIKE) and aim to capture more of the vibe of the day than 100 posed photos (DOUBLE LIKE). Without more ado, here are some of the snaps that made me scramble to sign on the dotted line….

Vicky and Dave's Wedding 1

Vicky and Dave's Wedding 2
This one absolutely kills me. This is going to be what my Dad looks like on the day. No doubt about it.

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Vicky and Dave's Wedding 4

Vicky and Dave's Wedding 5

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Aren’t they absolutely to die for? I’m so incredibly excited to have Hector shoot our wedding, and to be able to look back and have images of this quality.

They’re absolutely delightful people to boot. Not only were they happy to meet Mr H for a coffee and chat through our options, they actually suggested that they Skype me from London so that they could put a face to a name before the big day. That definitely scored points with me. Hector is Colombian, which means they get the international couple thing, and they get why we’re making some of the choices we are making for the big day. Another bonus? They’re not even that expensive. As far as wedding photography goes, they are totally reasonable and in fact I think they’re excellent value for money considering the lovely quality of their work.

Can you tell I’m excited?

 

All photo credits are We Heart Pictures. Book Them. They’ll  be great.