2014.

Given the amount of time I spent lying in bed feeling sick and/or miserable this year, my general feeling about 2014 is that it was a bit of a write-off and not much happened… but actually, stuff DID happen. Lots of stuff. Significant stuff. Here are ten things.

1. I GOT ENGAGED.

I was in my pyjamas and he used a hair-tie instead of a ring. Talk about spontaneous.

2. I GOT DEPORTED.

No regrets. I had a great three-month break in Cape Town, and the fact that I was (rather unfairly) evicted from the UK is going to be a good fireside tale for the rest of my life.

3. I GOT MARRIED IN COFFEE SHOP.

The wedding hasn’t happened yet, but the paperwork was done two months after the engagement. I wore a dress.

4. I TEMPED FULL-TIME AT A LITERARY AGENCY FOR FOUR MONTHS.

Learned a lot, confronted my fear of answering phones and even got to meet some authors.

5. I TRAVELLED.

A long weekend away in Brighton, a week away in north Wales, two trips to Guernsey and a day-trip to Sark. I also discovered many great things in London, which still feels very new to me.

6. I GOT A JOB WITH A LITERARY CONSULTANCY.

So it’s not full time and it’s not lucrative, but it’s something and it’s a challenge and I’m good at it. I got some other freelance work, too.

7. I DID SOME NEW/FUN/HEALTHY/INTERESTING THINGS.

Attended some life-drawing classes, went to David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks book launch, saw Wicked and 1984 at the theatre, enjoyed a feminist meetup in a pub, ran three times a week (until I got sick/sad), spent time with various friends and family members on their trips to London, etc.

8. I TOOK MY MENTAL HEALTH SERIOUSLY.

Well, at first I didn’t, but then I did, and now things are getting better! 🙂

9. I RECONNECTED WITH PEOPLE.

Not as much as I should’ve/could’ve, but I feel like I’m more connected now than I was a few months back, and I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has reciprocated.

10. I STARTED PLANNING MY WEDDING.

This has been tricky, especially in the circumstances, but things are falling into place and I’m starting to look forward to this sentimental life event. It’s going to be wonderful to have so many special people together in one place.

2014 was not an easy year. I didn’t achieve all (or even most) of what I wanted to achieve, but I did learn a lot and I feel like I’ve set myself up for a pretty interesting year in 2015, with a stronger foundation of self-awareness and a better focus on health and happiness. Thanks to everyone for their positive contributions to this year. No matter how small or distant those contributions may seem — a Skype call here, a comment there — they are very much appreciated and they make a big difference.

mordenhallrun

Onward!

My 3-Month Deportation Trip

Unlike my blog, I have been very much alive these past few months. I’m back in London after staying with my family in Cape Town for a quarter of a year. If I had been told when I was deported that I wouldn’t be back for such a long time, I’d probably have had a bit of a tantrum, but, as it turns out,  I really enjoyed my deportation trip. When I wasn’t working or doing admin, I got to spend time with people I’ve missed terribly and do many things that mean so much more to me now than they did before I emigrated. There were a few major life events, but I won’t go into those here. What I will go into is a lazy list of things I enjoyed during my time in Cape Town.

1. MOUNTAINS

Table Mountain and the city.

Table Mountain + the city.

2. FORESTS

Newlands Forest.

Newlands Forest.

3. BEACHES

DSCN3619edit

Noordhoek Beach + family.

4. SKIES

Kommetjie Road, sunset.

Kommetjie Road, sunset.

5. CAVES

Boomslang Cave + brother.

Boomslang Cave  exit/entrance + brother.

6. BOTANICAL GARDENS

Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Kirstenbosch Gardens.

7.  AMAZING VIEWS FROM HIKES WALKS AND HIKES

Fish Hoek, twilight, from the trail to Elsie's Peak.

Fish Hoek, twilight, from the trail to Elsie’s Peak.

8. PICNICS

9. HOME-COOKED MEALS

10. 2-FOR-1 BURGER NIGHTS AND ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT PIZZA NIGHT WITH OLD FRIENDS

11. CAKE AND TEA WITH FRIENDS, DINNER AND WINE WITH FRIENDS, PIZZA AND COCKTAILS WITH FRIENDS, SNACKS AND FIZZY DRINKS WITH FRIENDS

12. BRAAIS

13. SUSHI, MORE THAN ONCE

14. THE BEST FISH AND CHIPS IN THE WORLD (HAKE AND CHIPS FROM FISH HOEK FISHERIES, IF YOU MUST KNOW)

15. GOOD WINE AND DELICIOUS FOOD AT A WINE FARM WITH MY AUNT, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER

16. MORE TEA THAN I CAN HANDLE (JUST KIDDING, I CAN HANDLE ALL THE TEA)

17. CATCHING-UP WITH WITH PEOPLE AT RAFIKI’S, BANANA JAM CAFE, THE BRASS BELL, KALK BAY, FISH HOEK BEACH, VARIOUS MALLS, MY FAMILY’S HOME AND ELSEWHERE

18. MAJOR NOSTALGIA WHILE CHOOSING GEMSTONES AT THE SCRATCH PATCH WITH AN OLD FRIEND

19. A MAGIC SHOW

20. OTHER RANDOM EXCURSIONS TO PLACES THAT ARE LOVELY WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE AWESOME

21. FAMILY OUTINGS AND SHENANIGANS, ONCE INVOLVING TEQUILA

22. WATCHING MOVIES WITH MY MOM + POPCORN

23. QUALITY TIME WITH MY CAT

24. BOARD GAMES, CARD GAMES AND OTHER GAMES, SOMETIMES WITH OLD FRIENDS, SOMETIMES WITH NEW FRIENDS AND SOMETIMES WITH FAMILY

25. MOVIES AND RESTAURANTS AND A FERRIS WHEEL AND VARIOUS HAPPY MEMORIES WITH MY PARTNER IN TOTALLY LEGAL ACTIVITIES

26. SCENIC DRIVES

27. PERFECT WEATHER

28. SUNSHINE (THE LATE MARCH/APRIL GENTLE VARIETY, NOT THE FEBRUARY INFERNO)

29. LOTS OF SPACE

30. LOVE AND HAPPINESS (CHEEEESE)

I wanted to write a pointlessly in-depth post about my feelings, but I probably won’t. I could sum it up by saying that I feel overdue for a long and intense cry, but everything is good and I’m not sure what to cry about, so I haven’t done it yet. Just too many feelings, I reckon. TOO MANY FEELINGS. Thank you to everyone who  made these last few months so lovely and memorable. Yes, even you, UK Home Office. None of it would’ve happened without your bullshit, so thanks for that.

Home.

I’m home. I’ve been home for a while. I still haven’t figured out exactly what to say about it apart from the obvious.

It’s good to be back with my family. It’s good to see old friends. I’m happy to be reunited with my cat. I don’t know where I belong. I miss Luc. I miss London. I miss the past because it’s not the same as the present even though the settings and most of the characters are the same. I’m uncertain about the present. I’m uncertain about the future. I’m excited about the future…

I thought it would be weird, and it is weird, it’s just a slightly different type and intensity of weird to what I had anticipated. I have a big, tangled mess of complicated (and boring) feelings that I don’t feel like picking apart for blog purposes, so I’ll just post a picture instead.

This is me on top of Elsie’s Peak last week, looking down over my home town of Fish Hoek. The photo was taken by my mom.

Home.

Home.

Heading Home.

My ticket is booked and I’ll be on a long-haul flight out of London at the end of the week. It’s so sudden. I haven’t quite managed to process it.

I’ve spent nine months feelings homesick and dreaming of my trip back to Cape Town, but now that I’m being forced to go home prematurely and in undesirable circumstances, part of me wants to stay right where I am. Typical. I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends, but I’m going to miss London and our cosy little home here so very much while I’m away. It’s not clear how long it’s going to take me to get back and the uncertainty is making me anxious. I already feel like I’m torn between two countries. All these feelings that I’ve never had before…. they’re intriguing, but also rather exhausting.

February is going to be a pretty intense month. I should start thinking about packing…

See the teeny tiny little plane, right at the top? I'll miss the sunset, but it will be my first view of London by night from above. And I will be melancholy.

See the teeny tiny little plane, right at the top? Relevant.