I normally add a quote to the beginning of each post that sums up or enhances my writing. However, I’m going to use my monthly recaps as an opportunity to sum up the month – be it the mood, the weather, my feelings… Anything really. September is my favourite month of the year, as summer fades and there’s that wonderful slide into autumn, with crunchy leaves, golden colours, hazy light and mornings with a snap in the air. So this month my quote is for autumn.
‘Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.’ – William Allingham.
Back in January, I announced I was going to start monthly recaps on my blog. If you missed last month’s, you can find it here. I am super late writing my September recap. I knew I was coming to Ireland to write and so put off posting the monthly review for September until I was here. There is a lot to cover from September, however. I attended two weddings, one of which was the wedding of my best friend in the world and was the most perfect wedding day I’ve yet to go to. E stayed with me for several days upon her return from Greece and it was lovely to spend so much quality time with her catching up. I spent a lot of time in Flat Iron Square. And there were a couple of not so great things that started and rounded off the month, but more on those in the lowlights… Let’s start with the main highlights!
- My last couple of days in Wales, right at the start of the month. I kicked off the month in Wales. This literally feels like a lifetime ago already! I spent the first day of September walking in the hills with my parents, exploring an old Iron Age hill fort and enjoying a picnic before heading home. It was breezy, sunny day right at the end of summer, with autumn just around the corner, and it felt great. I headed to C and J’s wedding party on the Saturday evening and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and see some of my Welsh besties after a while apart. The evening was lovely, C and J looked the picture of happiness and I left at 12.30 having had a great evening. I was sad to head back to London the following day – I didn’t feel like I’d had enough time in Wales. Luckily, I’m heading back in November for another long weekend with some friends, so it’s not long until I’m back among the hills again!
- A and J’s perfect wedding. A has been my best friend for 10 years now, and I’ve known J for approximately six of those years. A is one of the best people in my life. She knows exactly how to cheer me up, lift me, bring out the best in me and she knows me inside out. I think everyone needs a person in their life like A, and I am incredibly grateful to have her. And so, it was absolutely wonderful to be able to share their perfect London wedding with them in September. They got married in Camberwell, and everything about the day was just so them. From the understated and hilarious but no less moving ceremony, to the Aperol Spritz and Negroni cocktails, to the incredible wedding feast at The Camberwell Arms, to the excellent speech J made, to the fun quiz arranged by J and E, to the fantastic party to round off the day with dancing, singing and board games – it was literally the best wedding. I had such an amazing time I didn’t take a single photo, and I cried twice. I never cry at weddings. J and A are two of my absolute favs, and I’m so glad I got to be at their wedding and see all their happiness and love for one another.
- All the drinks at Flat Iron Square. I spent no less than three Friday nights here in September. Yep, three. I seriously need to find somewhere else to drink… I had different company for each night, and all three were lots of fun no matter who I was with. Flat Iron Square is definitely one of my favourite places to drink in London during the summer and it’s so convenient to the office! I daresay as the colder months set in properly I’ll spend less time there, so I needed to make the most of it whilst I could…
- A lovely 30th birthday party. C turned 30 in September and she invited all of us from work to go along to her birthday party. I took P along with me for company and it was a lovely evening meeting my work friend’s partners, drinking a bit too much wine and getting a McDonald’s on our way home. Cheesy bites are a revelation! Cue P and I sitting on the southbound Northern line platform at Tottenham Court Road for about twenty minutes (missing four trains in the process) just so that we could finish our burgers in peace! The followng day, slightly worse for wear, I met P again with J and K and we strolled through Regent’s Park before heading to Camden for food at the Blue’s Kitchen. It was the perfect lazy Sunday with friends.
- Plenty of quality time with E. E returned from Greece mid-month and couldn’t move into her new digs for a couple of weeks, so I got to see a lot of her during September because that meant she stayed at mine. We ate some lovely food (I am a good cook if I say so myself) and spent time catching up. Then, when it was time for her to move into her new place, I spent a couple of hours helping shift her gear across London. It is so good to have her back in London again, I really missed her while she was away. I’m glad I can call her up or see her very easily again now!
- A huge leak in our flat which resulted in a massive flood and a few weeks without proper lighting in either the kitchen or the bathroom. On my way back to London at the beginning of the month, I got a call from Z and A to tell me that there was a leak in our bathroom ceiling and the place was flooding. We quickly had to get an emergency plumber out to fix the issue with the upstairs neighbour’s pipes, an emergency electrician to make our lights safe and our landlord came around to check everything was okay. All this whilst I was travelling back from Wales! I’d been hoping for a quiet evening upon my return to London, with a quick shower and bed with a movie, but no such luck. There was a lot of mopping to be done! The leak and flood meant we spent the next couple of weeks without proper lighting until the place had dried out properly and resulted in me having to spend a day working from home when the electrican came to fix the lights properly. All in all, a right pain and something that we really could have done without.
- A night in A&E to round off the month. Thankfully, not due to ill health on my part, but I went with my flatmate right at the end of the month and spent a full seven hours in A&E whilst she got seen, tested and finally admitted to hospital for further tests overnight. It was not the best way to round off the month, especially as I was starving (I’d barely eaten all day) and was recovering from an almighty hangover! Luckily, the tests all came back without any problems and A was let out of hospital the next day – best to be save than sorry though!
I’ve decided to (for the time being) replace Posts of the Month with a short update on my coding progress for the month, considering I’m not actually really blogging at the moment. So here is my first progress update!
In the meantime… I’ll keep at it as much as possible! I’m thinking of asking a couple of developer friends to set me tasks again, as P has done for me before, because it means I have to prove to someone I’ve done work and been practising. I’ll keep you posted!
Audio Books of the Month
I headed back into childhood territory again in September and listened to all the Harry Potter audio books narrated by Stephen Fry, and it was glorious! To be honest, I started them back in August, but finished the series in September with the Deathly Hallows. I’d forgotten so many of the little details in the books and it was great to re-live them all over again after years having not read them. The films miss out so much! I actually felt a bit sad when the final book ended and I had no more to listen to in the evenings when going to sleep. If you like audio books and want to re-live your youth, then I’d highly recommend the Harry Potter series. Stephen Fry is an excellent narrator and brings life to the books. All of them are available on the Amazon Audible app which you download on most smartphones these days, using either Android or iOS technology. And of course, there’s no need to stop there…
Instagram Pictures of the Month
My photos this month were taken in Wales and in London, so there’s a mix of city scapes and rolling hills!
I choose these three images based on which got the most likes on Instagram and then tell the story behind the picture. Disclaimer: They are not necessarily my favourite photos!
The Descent into Autumn, Kennington Park, London. During E’s visit, we went on a few walks in the evenings as night began to draw in and darkness descend. During one of these walks, we headed to Kennington Park and ended up in the pretty garden that is near the back of the park, by the hockey pitches and tennis courts. This autumnal tree caught my eye, with the leaves lying on the path. It finally felt like the seasons were really changing and summer was fading. I like this shot because it’s really hard to tell that it’s actually been taken in central London, the only giveaway the buildings in the background with the slightly overgrown path leading off towards them.
Twin Hats, Carmarthenshire, Wales. I had so many likes on Instagram for this photo – an otherwise fairly average shot made special by those twin hats in the bottom left corner! These are my parents, and they often wear hats like this when they go out walking. I love the splash of colour that Mum’s brings to the whole scene as they gaze out across Carmarthenshire. It was so lovely to see them after so long and to spend some quality time with both my parents. I think this will become an image I treasure in years to come.
Natural History Museum in black and white, Kensington, London. P and I headed to Kensington to visit Wholefoods one evening after work (yes, I do live an extremely exciting life like, all the time!) and I shot this image whilst we were walking from South Kensington to Kensington High Street. It was my first city image after several photos from Wales and it seems the London audience appreciated a return to the best of the city’s architecture! I love this slightly unusual angle on the Natural History Museum, it’s not the usual shot you might find of this spectacular museum. P and I spent a great hour wondering around Wholefoods imagining what it must be like to be rich enough to buy the weekly shop there, then had burgers before heading home.