So the title sounds a lot more sinister than what this post is really about… but I felt like I just needed to sit down and blurt out my feelings and my blog feels like a good place to do just that!
I’m not sure if this will follow any particular order, or if it will even make any sense when I read it back… but it’ll be good to read back over this in a few months time and see where I’m at with everything.
Working from home
So I’ve been working from home now for 203 days (and counting).
I’ll admit I found it hard to adapt at first. I didn’t feel prepared bringing everything home and setting up; having to remember to bring all that I needed from the office and then comparing *sonic vs att to ensure I had a fast enough internet connection to work online from home indefinitely.
Thought of working alone in a small room really didn’t appeal to me. I guess I’m fortunate enough to be in a seperate room in the house to work in, as I’d of found it too distracting to work in the kitchen or front room. I’ve definitely found it hard not being around people, and it can get frustrating having to rely on just emails and calls to speak to people, when being in an office you could just shout across the room to get their attention! I guess we all have good days and bad days – it’s good in a way WHF as I can put my headphones in and listen to music and really zone in with no distractions, but I do miss the buzz of being around people in the office – and the cups of peppermint tea or coffee you’d get on the hour too!
I was due to go back into the office this month, and I had geared myself up for it and was looking forward to being around people again, but with the latest update on working from home, we’re now back to square one. I guess we could be looking at another 6 months of WFH, who knows, but fingers crossed we can see some kind of relaxation on this in the next few months.
My mental health
I think as is the same with everyone in the world right now, my mental health has taken a little bit of a beating.
I’m fortunate to not struggle as such, but I do have anxiety when it comes to not being in control of a situation or not knowing what to expect, which COVID-19 has completely affected. I’ve been fortunate enough to not experience loss throughout this, and no one that I know directly has suffered with COVID-19 – thank god. I did struggle in the beginning of Lockdown – I cried most days because the thought of not seeing my boyfriend, my friends and having a routine really hit home. Although I do feel anxious about the next 6 months and what could happen throughout the winter, I feel in a much better place than I was during Lockdown.
As soon as the gym re-opened, I was there within a few days and felt much better for it. Now I know that I’m WFH for another 6 months (at least) I need to put a solid routine together for exercising. I want to commit to going to the gym at least 3 times a week, and I want to up my steps too. I recon I’m hitting around 2,000 steps a day, if that, because of WFH and not doing anything else throughout the day. So I want to make sure that I get into some sort of routine where I exercise or walk before work again because it really helped me when I was doing it regularly. I think that by getting into a better routine, my sleep pattern and eating will get better too.
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It’s hard to put 15 years into just 10 pictures, but this little one brought so much happiness to us all ❤️ I’ll miss seeing you sleeping in silly places, eating ice cream and Angel Delight with us, miaowing for treats, your fascination with cardboard boxes and just being there trotting around the house looking for places to sunbathe and sleep. It was hard to let you go yesterday but at least now you’re at peace — love you lots and lots Snowbell 🐱❤️👼🏻
Something that did hit hard during Lockdown was the fact that we had to say goodbye to our cat, Snowbell. She’d been with us for almost 15 years and we know that she had the best life possible with us. I’m grateful that with Lockdown we all got to spend more time around her but I do miss her so much, and videos still make me tear up. I think pets have such a massive impact on your life and you don’t even realise it properly until they’re no longer there. We’re still finding her white fur around the house, so I’m sure she’ll always be with us!
I do feel incredibly fortunate that I was able to go on holiday twice this year, despite everything that is going on in the world.
In July, I went on a staycation to Cornwall with my boyfriend for the week. We booked to stay at a cabin retreat with a hot tub in Mullion Cove, and we had the best week visiting different beaches, eating fish and chips by the sea, over indulging in cream teas and cider, and exploring some lovely little places including St Ives, Kynance Cove and Newquay. It was great to get away for the week and spend some time together.
I was also fortunate enough to go abroad this year to Turkey. I had the best time there and it was just what we needed. We stayed at Liberty Lykia Fethiye for 10 days all inclusive, consumed soo much food and drink, went on day trips and excursions and just genuinely had the best time out there. I felt incredibly safe whilst I was there, even more so than I do in the UK. They have security down to a T and were hot with on-the-spot fines for not wearing a mask, and you were temperature checked everywhere you went – even to access the beach!
I feel lucky to have been able to enjoy hot weather this year, and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to go abroad next year too.
I didn’t manage to take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, but I have been to some great foodie places the last few months!
In Cornwall, we went to some great little independent restaurants including Sandbar at Praa Sands and Wavecrest at Lizard Point, which you can read about in my Cornwall post here.
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I went to the Angel and Harp in Dunmow for waffles which were delicious, and I’ve also been to The Hawk Battlesbridge for a couple meals, where I had the most amazing sticky chicken bites for our 1 year anniversary.
I also went to Leigh-on-Sea with my bestfriend, and had brunch at The Brunch Co. I had the most amazing fluffy pancakes topped with bananas and Biscoff spread – it’s a must-visit if a) you’re local and b) you love Biscoff!
What I’ve been watching and listening to
I’ve only really started watching Netflix since Lockdown… *shock*
I’ve not really watched any of the ones that were trending during Lockdown, like Sex Education, You, Love is Blind or Tiger King…. but I have enjoyed watching The Stranger, Jack Whitehall Travels With My Father and Unsolved Mysteries. I usually just watch reruns of the american Impractical Jokers – so I need to expand my Netflix-watching horison!! I’ve been watching Money Heist with my boyfriend and I am absolutely addicted to the series so far!
Music wise, I just listen to Spotify most days and I love House music most the time – it’s upbeat and helps to keep me focused on switching in and out of different work tasks and emails.
I am SO HAPPY that Great British Bake Off is now back on our screens as well!!!!!! It’s the little slice of happiness that we all need right now. 🧁
I think that it’s fair to say that Hannatalks has taken a back seat for the majority of this year.
I had no real motivation to write anything at the beginning of this year or use my Twitter or Instagram accounts, but since the restrictions lifted and we were able to go out and do more, I found a little spark to write again.
So I wrote a blog post on Essex business to support during COVID-19, which I am still adding to when I come across a local brand (if you want to recommend any companies to include, or you have a business in Essex yourself, get in touch!). I was fortunate enough to be invited to a restaurant launch in Grays, too. Feast treated myself and my boyfriend to an evening of delicious food and drinks, so it was great to support a local business opening during these uncertain times.
I’ve also recently set up a new Instagram account, hanna__eats, where I just post foodie photos, so come and follow me if that’s your kind of thing. 🙂
I have quite a few blog posts that need writing up, including a day trip to Rye and a city break to Edinburgh last year, so I want to put some more love into my little blog for the rest of the year.
Looking at the months ahead
So I’m the kind of person that love love LOVES to make plans.
So knowing that firework night, New Year’s Eve fireworks, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and god knows what else is off the cards this year, it does get me down to think we might not have much to look forward to this year now. I love going on European city breaks to see the Christmas markets, like when I went to Milan last year, so it’s sad to think a Christmas city break is likely to be off the cards this year, too. My birthday is in early January too, so I’m already thinking about what I’ll be able to do for that…
The plus side to WFH and not being able to go out as much has helped me financially though, as I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to start clearing my cards to put me in a better position financially next year. This year has definitely shown me to be more careful with money, and perhaps think twice about what I’m prepared to spend my money on.
It’s been a weird old year so far, but I’m hoping that throughout all this uncertainty we’ll be in a much better place this time next year. 💓