You’re not failing

I’m just going to start writing, otherwise I’ll get sidetracked and lose the idea…
So the last time I posted was before I had a minor set back deciding that my grades wouldn’t get me into a good enough university and it made me think that I’d be miserable if I went to somewhere like Manchester Met or Nottingham Trent. I have thought about it a lot more and I think I can put this down to them asking for lower grades, making me think that I wasn’t good enough to go somewhere like Aberdeen for example. After coming to this conclusion I decided to go in for a Geography resit to boost my D to (hopefully) a B; that was the goal. So when Mum came home I worked up the courage to admit to her what I feeling, and as I started to explain to her that I thought I was going to be miserable because I wasn’t good enough I started full-on weeping because let’s be honest, it’s a crap feeling. She listened to me and calmed me down by saying that it may seem overwhelming now because it feels like your whole life depends on 3 letters- my 3 letters being A, B and D- but if you take life one step at a time it won’t seem to heavy like it’s crushing down on you. Of course, being human, it’s very common to look past the really great grades of A and B and look straight to the letter D; you immediately think that the good grades are immaterial because that one ‘bad’ grade will hold you back.

I applied for resits in the nick of time as I emailed my old geography teacher for advice: he emailed me back with the news that the deadline was that next Friday! ‘Phew I haven’t missed it’ was my initial thought. I felt like I would be able to revise for 3 exams no problem because I wasn’t really doing much else. It turns out that revising for something you don’t have any interest in anymore is harder than you’d think. I found I had no motivation to revise: this will be the 3rd time I’m sitting unit 2 and 2nd time sitting units 3 and 4.

Despite endless encouragement, emotional support and pestering from my brother I still haven’t done that much. I’ve been to the library twice in the past fortnight and spent about 6 hours in total in there; I spent about half that time revising for geography; the rest of these 6 hours I spent reading about language and linguistics because thats what really interests me!

While writing about my first wobble, I started getting anxious again and went downstairs to take a break, I decided to talk to mum to clear my head. I felt obliged to put Aberdeen as my firm choice just because the money had been spent on my resits to enable me to get into Aberdeen University; I was worried I’d hate it- FYI I visited Aberdeen yesterday for the offer holder day and loved it. Again, just like the first time, mum was super supportive and gave me a literal shoulder to cry on. She assured me that it’s okay to change my mind to make the right decision for me.

Because I had a 2-week break from the post I’ve, unsurprisingly, forgotten where this was going so I’ll stop here; I have a feeling I made a few relevant points in there.
Also, talk to your family; they’re there for support and I find that talking about your issues helps to clear your head: you might find you become closer to them. Since my little meltdown I haven’t been able to look at a single mother’s day card without welling up, but that might just be because I’m a wet blanket.

So I thought I’d wait until mother’s day to publish this post because it seems like an appropriate day to do so. My mum and I went down to Nottingham on Friday to see NTU and I loved it! I loved the city, the campus, the lecturers. Mum is trying to make me wait til I’ve seen Kent bit I can’t wait to firm NTU 🙂 It’ll all work out in the end.

Happy Mother’s Day to the best Mum xxx
Until next time,
Caitlin x

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All The Autumnal Loveliness

 

– What I Love About Autumn

  1. That wet-pine smell…
    Okay, so you’re probably thinking what is she crackin’ on about?! But just hold on and I’ll explain. Now that the weather is turning mild and just a bit wet, this is becoming more noticeable. So I was walking home the other day and I noticed that the ground was feeling softer underfoot. This was due to tons of pine needles that had fallen from the trees. I guess the rain must make them smellier but aw jeez, the air smelt oh so sweet. I just felt like it’d been autumn for a month already!

     

  2. Cosy evenings…
    Don’t we all love it – a bit too much maybe – when it starts to get dark at about 7? Autumn is generally when we start wanting to go into hibernation because of the shorter days tricking our minds into thinking we should sleep more! As a result I’m more likely to just have a laid-back evening; spending a good many hours curled up in a blanket with a cup o’ chai tea and watching either Saccone Joly Youtube videos or Netflix/live TV…hang on! I just thought of another point, however my point to this one was that I just looovve being cosy!
  3. Good TV…
    I find that September is when the good British TV programmes come out all at once: my weekend schedule consists of The Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come Dancing, Poldark and Our Girl. In the past the BBC have brought out those such as Doctor Who, Merlin and Robin Hood…I just love BBC! Speaking of…how sad are you that GBBO is moving to Channel 4?!

     

  4. Autumn freakin’ Leaves…
    It goes without saying that autumn leaves should be on this list! For me, it’s not about the crunch underfoot (mostly because it’s usually more of a squelch underfoot). Sure I love to kick up huge piles of leaves as much as the next 18-year-old child…but it’s more the russet browns and yellows that I love. I love to watch the landscape change from one season to the next; mostly going from spring to summer and then to autumn. I’m not a big fan of bare trees at winter time, unless it’s been snowing.
  5. Chai tea…
    hmm chai…This is the perfect way for me to relax when I come through the door. The spices are so comforting and calming when it’s a bit chilly outside. It’s basically like a liquid hug and it helps me put the stress out of my mind. It really is like Christmas in a cup… (perhaps a little premature? )

     

  6. Autumn baking…
    Okay, so the other day I went foraging for some blackberries in the bramble thickets near the high school and I made a lemon cheesecake decorated by said blackberries and also blueberries. It doesn’t even bother me that it takes hours (sometimes) because quite often it’s raining outside and so is the perfect stuck-inside activity for autumn. Autumn always seems to be the season when I bake the most; I’ve a lot coming up so keep an eye out for more delicious autumn baking posts!
  7. Pumpkins…
    So last but not least on my list of autumn goodness is pumpkins…Seriously who doesn’t love pumpkins? I’m constantly keeping an eye out for pumpkins come Hallowe’en time; I bought two last year with the intention of carving me some jack-o’-lanterns but instead I made pumpkin-spiced cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (hella looking forward to that again!).

Bring on Autumn!!

I’m currently listening to I Get A Kick Out Of You by Frank Sinatra

Until next time,
Caitlin x

National Trust Treasures

 

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Moss Lake at Cragside

Is there anything better than a day out with the fam wandering about the grounds of a National Trust place? What better way to spend a crisp autumnal morning than to wrap up and do the River Walk around Wallington Hall? Or to kick up the leaves, moseying through the fields at Waddesdon Manor? These are the kinds of days I look forward to most; no arguing; no squabbling; no nothing! Just a lovely day out, surrounded by nature and seeing your brothers. Oh…and a lovely cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate to warm up afterwards!

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Tea at Waddesdon Manor

I think I’ll take this opportunity to share with you some of my favourite National Trust experiences. Sit back with your favourite hot bev and blanket and enjoy! Oh and maybe go and visit somewhere I mention. It might become one of your favourite places too.

  1. Cragside – This place will live forever in the best of my childhood memories…Now I know I said no squabbling but the amount of times I’ve been here it would be near to impossible for every time to be perfect and with no picking on the youngest sibling (me)… However, I can’t put in to words how much I enjoy visiting this amazing place: from running through the woods to racing through the rockery, exploring around Moss Lake, finding my way out of the Labyrinth etc. etc. We would often visit with my Grandad as he lived not too far away in Hepple and that in itself gives me days to treasure.
  2. Wallington Hall – As this place is only around 16 miles away from Hexham we come here quite a lot. My favourite things to do here include playing with my brothers in the courtyard when we were younger, again, running through the woodland and exploring/playing hide & seek in the Walled Garden and finally, taking a picture on the stone gargoyles. Whenever I had a German Exchange student we would take them to Wallington for a walk and cream tea. There are so many gorgeous walks around Wallington, my favourites being the River Walk and to the Walled Garden.
  3. Farne Islands, Northumberland (see previous blog post)
    A stone’s throw from Bamburgh lays Seahouses; a small town of fish and chip shops and gift shops. From here you can catch a boat over to the Farne Islands and explore the inner island belonging to the National Trust!
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  4. Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
    Last October we stopped off here on the journey back up North from Oxfordshire. I had had a lovely weekend at my aunt and uncle’s house with the rest of my family. So on the way to drop my brother off at the station in Milton Keynes we came here for a little while for a mosey through the grounds. It was so nice because the autumn was in full swing and everything was a deep orange. We got the shuttle bus up to the manor house where stopped in the café for a cup of tea. From there we meandered back down through the woods to the car park – just what was needed before a 5-hour car journey back up North!
  5. Cliveden, Maidenhead
    We came here once to meet up with my brother who lives in London. Although it was only once that I visited this place I loved everything about it; from the stunning grounds to the café in an orangery. The little woodland path that ran from the car park to the house was so sweet – I felt all cosy and snug in my winter coat and Doc Martens!
  6. Chartwell, Kent
    So again, I’ve only been here once (as far as I know) but I really enjoyed this day out. We spent the day walking around the gardens and I recall being really interested by the border plants and the rhododendrons… I remember it was a bit frosty that day; magic! Jumper weather…yay
  7. Glendurgan Gardens, Cornwall
    In my life I’ve only been to Cornwall twice; once this summer and the other when I was three years old, in which case I may have visited this seaside garden more than once. I saved this for last as it’s where I actually became a fully-fledged National Trust member; free entry for a year, YAS! I also discovered my love for succulents here (The garden shop is where I bought my first house plant; Aristotle the Aloe aristata). There was also a few awesome Agave Americana’s here and SO many amazing tree ferns (I’m obsessed). This was also where I fell over and gouged my palm open…something a toddler might do. That’s what happens when you try to show off. But on the up side they have a really cool maze to get lost in.

    Last week I pestered my parents enough to go to a National Trust place and we ended up going to Wallington Hall, it was military weekend so there was a massive display of military vehicles and demonstrations in the house – which naturally I thought was amazing. I was wanting to go down to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire but unfortunately it was too late in the day to drive 2 hours away.

My Favourite Untranslatable Word of September- MERAKI, Greek.
Meraki is an adjective meaning pouring yourself wholeheartedly into something, such as cooking, and doing so with soul, creativity, and love. I chose Meraki as my September word because I’ve found myself getting more and more enthusiastic about blogging over the past month; especially at midnight when all the ideas flood my brain all at once. I love writing what’s on my mind and now I have a word to describe just how deep the love goes!

‘When you’re giving your all, the end result is usually a great one. The concept of meraki has obviously grown up around the Greek culture, which seems to emphasise a thoughtful kind of passion and an appreciation for the small things.’ – Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders20161001_152112

I’m currently listening to Save The Last Dance For Me by Michael Buble.

Until next time,
Caitlin x

Trying To Find Something To Keep Me Busy

Granted I should have tried to plan my gap year straight after finishing my exams but I was set on the idea of staying in Hexham and trying to find a job. I kept putting off looking for a job, of course, until stress of exams was out of the way, along with learning to drive, something I’ve been thinking about since January time…I thought that if I had one more little thing to think about my head might just explode. This I think is also why I’m only just starting Grade 5 on the piano – a grade is something I haven’t done since middle school. I originally gave up with grades on the piano after a re-sit on grade 4 – I did get a merit after a second try after failing by 2 marks. The thing was that the exams were just too much for my nerves to handle; I’d always be shaking, dreading it and besides this I would down about 10 cups of water from the water from the water fountain to stop my mouth going dry…no examiner will ever be impressed if you keep croaking through your oral exam.

Anyway…we digress! So I only started looking for a job 3 weeks ago. It was after I stayed in a youth hostel in Keswick that I thought it would be so fun to stay and work in the Lake District for a couple of months. For this reason I applied for a youth hostel job at YHA Hawkshead. I then saw that one of the hotels in Hexham was hiring so, after gaining some confidence with the help of some Rekordelig, I asked if there was a job I could apply for. After a job trial which proved that I had no confidence or personality/ customer banter I decided that it might be best just to stick to volunteering. Recently I’ve been looking at some conservational opportunities in Scotland with Trees for Life and with SEEDS in Iceland.
I also am volunteering my time to my former German teacher which means I might get some inspiration to become a German teacher but who knows! I’ve seldom proved myself to be good at explaining things – I’ve always left that to my brothers!

But I guess the point I’m trying to make is that even if you’re not sure of something, just go for it because it might even lead you on a path that you’ve always wanted, just never really appreciated.

I went to a music night at my local Costa back in March with some God-fairing Americans. I remember one girl talking about how she believed that God had set her on the path intended for her when her brother got in a serious accident which then led to her wanting to help other people. This of course was after a brief period of her thinking ‘Why God? Why?’
I however believe that we make our own way in life but even if at first you do feel nervous and down when someone says you have zero confidence/personality, try and try again. Just know that not everyone knows straight away what is in store for them. Also, 3 hours is not long enough for someone to judge another human being like that; there is no way you can know a person in such a way in just 3 hours.

I still don’t know where the rest of my life will lead me but at least I have a loose idea for the here and now and I think it’s safe to say that I’m just winging it.

I’m currently listing to Both Sides Now by Hayley Westenra.

Until next time,
Caitlin x

Favourite Snaps of 2015: November

I can’t believe I’m still doing this series! It’s September already which means 2016 has almost done a full lap around my favourite snaps of 2015 how dare it!

You’re not getting much this month. The only thing I did was a family walk down to the river to see the salmon jumping up the weir. It was a really nice walk but from what I remember the air was damp and there was dew on the grass…ah Autumn I love it! I just remember walking across the fairway on the golf course and plodding along underneath the berries on the trees. However it was also a treacherous walk because the leaves had turned into a wet mulch with the mud and it had become like a death trap, especially when one is wearing Converse! The best bit of the walk of course had to be the salmon jumping. Every year they jump from October right through to December and it’s amazing that every single time I’ve been to see them I end up rooting for them to get up because the current is so strong that, even if they get the timing and the distance right they can still get washed back down again.

Anywaayyy…enjoy!

And as I promised the other day it’s time for my Favourite Untranslatable Word of August…

In honour of it being officially the first day of Autumn!! – get out your pumpkins and your cinnamon!! – my favourite untranslatable word of August is- FEUILLEMORT, French.
This word is an adjective meaning something having the colour of a faded, dying leaf… A bit morbid no? Well, not really when you consider that Autumn is an awesome season, especially because of the faded, dying leaves.
‘Autumn leaves are one of those things that make the world seem worth the trouble. If you live somewhere with changing seasons, surely the evening light and those beautiful colours slowly fading underneath the trees will have you looking at life through feuillemort-tinted glasses.’ – Lost In Translation by Ella Frances Sanders

I’m currently listening to The Council Of Elrond by Enya & Howard Shore

Until next time,
Caitlin x