So, I took an unintentional hiatus from this space for many many months. The longest break I've taken in the 9 years I've been commanding this corner of the internet.
Life happened. Time went by. I felt a little lost and disillusioned along the way about occupying space on the internet and whether or not there was still a place for more lo-fi blogs in the blogosphere.
In short, this space took a backseat whilst I worked hard and figured things out. I've missed sharing things, even though I've still been blogging twice a week on my Patreon page. And so, I'm back.
In the spirit of catching up, I figured I'd take this post to chat about some of the things I've been up to over the last five or so months. Get comfy.
TAKING ON COPYWRITING, CONTENT WRITING & COPYEDITING PROJECTS.
First and foremost, I made a conscious effort to throw myself into my business since a girl has gotta eat and keep a roof over her head.
As you may know, I'm a freelance copywriter, content writer and copyeditor helping small business owners/freelancers transform lifeless copy through creative content packages. In short, I write words for other people who might not have the time, energy or skills to do so themselves.
I've worked with a host of professionals on a range of different projects since we last spoke, from total web copy refreshes for a fair few life coaches, monthly blog posts for a tech company, £99 web copy audits for business owners who need a little direction, and more!
I've even got really into LinkedIn. There isn't a non-wanky way to say that, huh?!
I'm so in love with what I do for a living. It has been such a learning curve over the last two years but I'm feeling consistently fulfiled by everything I set my mind to.
If you're reading this and thinking, 'I could do with a little help with my web copy/blog posts' then do email me! I'll send over my brochure and booklet of gleaming testimonials! firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHARING STUFF OVER ON MY PATREON
Despite my absence here, I've been sharing tons of content every week over on my Patreon page for my patrons. There are over 100 posts to browse through should you want to.
I've recently given the page a little refresh - new rewards, a whole new tier, a new Discord server where we can all chat back-and-forth about inspiring stuff (read: we've mostly talked about comfort food and books so far).
If you'd like to join us, you can choose from one of four tiers ($3/$5/$7/$9) and you can, of course, leave us with no awkwardness or questions asked whenever the mood takes you.
We're just about to start reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone during Nov-Dec as part of the Vivatramp Book Club. If you'd like to read along and discuss it with us, become a Queen Bee.
A big thank you to all of my existing patrons for being so supportive and engaging: Lauren P, Lauren A, Mish, Lyzi, Sian, Amy, Candice, Jennifer, Emma, Fern, Ria, Tori and Janine.
LOSS OF MY GRANDMA
My paternal grandmother passed away over the summer.
I spent a week sat by her side, alongside my family, holding her hand and voicing everything I ever wanted her to know before she moved between worlds.
I've felt a profound sense of loss over the last few months, often finding myself forgetting that she's no longer here. I've gone to send texts and bookmarked things I think she'd like as gifts. The limbo period following the passing of a loved one is a weird weird place to be, huh?!
You may have read the poem that I wrote in her memory, wayfarer. A poem I felt I needed to write.
Between that and penning her eulogy, I've spent lots of time brooding on the creative streak she nurtured in each and every one of us. One of her paintings now hangs, pride of place, at the bottom of my stairs so I can catch a glance of it every day and be inspired by her creations.
I miss her so very much but I'm so glad she's at peace.
I went away in the summer with Luke's family to a villa an hour or so outside of Barcelona where his brother, wife and niece now live. The aim of the game was to enjoy quality time together and I think we managed to achieve that.
We spent many a day around the pool. I read at least two books in full. Filled my camera roll with memories. Ate a ton of crisps and bbq food and drank a fair amount of rum and cider too.
It was really wonderful and probably just what I needed after everything that happened with my Grandma.
Whilst my reading has still yet to meet the dizzying heights of a few years ago, I've read a nice selection of books so far this year.
The Vivatramp Book Club over on Patreon has been encouraging me to pick up a book every few days or so and I'm loving the experience of sharing bookish thoughts so far. Our brand new book club Discord channel promises to make the experience all the more interactive too.
Books I've read in 2019 and enjoyed wholeheartedly? Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Tipping The Velvet by Sarah Waters (re-read) and Devotion by Patti Smith.
I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and I'm about to start Saltwater by Jessie Andrews!
BECAME A GODMOTHER
Yes, you read that right.
I recently became a godmother for the first time to my cousin's third baby girl, Chloe Amber. She's still figuring this whole life thing out (who isn't?!) but she's pretty damn cool already.
We've matched outfits on two separate family occasions and I have every intention of teaching her about all the best things in life: books, reading, loud music, and snacks.
After waiting a year and a half, I was finally allocated a therapist for some PTSD-focused EDMR therapy. I won't go into very many details because, in all honesty, it's exhausting but I was there to essentially tackle the trauma I faced during my near-death experience in the hospital back in 2013.
We only managed to cover two very small memories from that time over the sessions I was allocated, partly because you have to keep working through a teeny tiny memory over and over again as part of the process and partly because there was a ton of other trauma I'd experienced leading up to 2013 that needed to be addressed also.
Whilst I came to feel comfortable with my therapist and would recommend the EDMR experience, I've come to realise that my trauma is going to need an extensive amount of time, energy and therapy to resolve. As my therapist noted, we've essentially made a start on what would've been a long journey had I been able to have more NHS appointments.
Once my business gets to a place where I can afford regular therapy, it's something I'd like to return to.
I turned 27 back in July! I'm older and wiser. Eye bags growing more pronounced by the day.
Whilst navigating the sunset-streaked village roads as we headed home from my birthday meal, I had a real moment of calming reflection as I took stock and looked forward. Reflection isn't easy for me these days, as it often brings out the PTSD nargles, but in that moment I felt like I was able to indulge if only for a short while.
I feel very lucky to still be here. I make poor choices. I let myself down at times. I try and brush things under a rug as opposed to dealing with them head-on...
but I feel kinda blessed to still be here making mistakes and missteps...figuring things out as I go.
I made the most of the summer months and 'better' health days and went on some mini adventures when possible, from Sheppy's Cider Farm to Stourhead.
I also celebrated three different friend's weddings since I last updated this space - Tim's, Georgia's and Tom's.
My loved ones also welcomed three new babies this year - Grace, Phoebe and Arthur.
I've had a lot of moments to be thankful for and I've been making an extra effort to acknowledge that.
BOOKED OUR WEDDING
After two years of procrastination, we finally booked our wedding venue and set a date!
I've got lots of things to sort out between now and then. If you've got any recommendations for suppliers, DIY ideas, blogs, groups, websites, wholesalers, etc, then please send them my way!
I've had a fair few decent meals out.
We headed to The Firehouse in Curry Rivel for my birthday meal which was pretty great. We were seated in the beautiful basement room and filled our bellies with elaborate puddings, pizzas and gooey camembert. Luke got a little tipsy on cider about halfway through so watching him steadily deflate was an absolute joy.
Other notable food moments include burgers and cider at Sheppy's Cider Farm, pizzas in the bar as the rain fell down outside at The Swan in Rowberrow, and the roast dinner at The Three Horseshoes Inn in Batcombe.
WATCHED LOTS OF GOOD STUFF
I've watched a ton of stuff since I last properly posted over here. Highlights include: What We Do In The Shadows (TV series), the latest Stranger Things series, Kidding, old episodes of Whose Line, John Wick 3, watching When Harry Met Sally for the first time and Stath Lets Flats.
The latter being my absolute favourite. YOUNG LAD.
I've probably watched a ton of other stuff that I've loved but my memory ain't the best so that's your lot.
LISTENED TO LOTS OF STUFF
I've been listening to an eclectic mix as per usual. I work from home and, for whatever reason, I do my best stuff when I'm singing along to music so there's always something spinning.
One notable music memory from the last few months came when I did a mini road trip to Dorset with one of my BFFs, Claire. We blasted 'International Superhits' and 'Toxicity' in full all the way home. Windows down. Voices loud. It was the best.
Here's a list of songs I've listened to many times since we last spoke:
No Drug Like Me by Carly Rae Jepsen, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend by girl in red, Dylan Thomas by Better Oblivion Community Center, Territorial Pissings by Nirvana, Wash Off by Foals, Burning Down The House (Stop Making Sense version) by Talking Heads, Two Of Us On The Run by Lucius and Between Your Band And The Other Band by Tigers Jaw.
How've you been? What have you been up to?
Kudos if you got this far down the post. If you've enjoyed this return to form, do let me know cause I don't really know if this is still a thing people enjoy or not.