24.11.18 — Journal

The First Three Weeks Back

As I sit in my room here in England, surrounded by an array of candles that I lit in order to try and heat up my now-forever-cold hands, it doesn’t feel like three whole weeks have passed since I left Madrid. It’s true that my dad’s visit may have eased the transition somewhat, but I’m still in the process of re-adjusting to the realities of living back in the great British countryside, for better and for worse.

The first week back provided the opportunity to indulge in a few things I’d been wanting to do upon my arrival, including a lunch at one of the tastiest British food spots I’ve ever eaten at – luckily situated in a tiny unsuspecting looking hut just a short car journey from our house. My mum also took me into the centre of Burnley, which I hadn’t admittedly missed all that much, but it was interesting to see how it had all changed with renovations during my time in Spain. The ending of said works meant I could finally take a half-decent photo of the hand-painted sign which I find so pretty amongst the otherwise rather dull architecture of the centre.

Burnley's little pretty sign
The best British food in the world
Burnley gets on board with modern design

It seems like Burnley has embraced modern design.

After a long time away in big cities like Madrid and Leeds, I noticed that I really appreciated some of the things that I had previously taken for granted. I have spent various amounts of time over the past few weeks just watching the sky’s colours change as the sun goes down, and I particularly enjoyed a trek around the local reservoir with my mum – as cold as it may have been!

A beautiful sunset from my window
Mum up by the reservoir

After allowing myself a few days of relaxation, I’ve been back on the preparations for my next professional steps, starting with an overhaul of the design of my website. I know I say that I’m doing it a lot and that it usually never comes to fruition, but now I am bound by the need to get myself back into employment, and surprisingly things are moving along quite quickly.

I’ll share details of where I am in the process in a separate blog post, but for now I’ll just moan that the hours spent idle behind my laptop and my mum’s refusal to put on the heating and cater to me being accustomed to a warmer climate all mean that I have been getting quite (see: very) cold. Perhaps counter-intuitively, I found that getting up and moving – albeit in the cold winter air of the countryside surrounding my house – gets my blood flowing and makes me feel somewhat warmer, and so that’s what I’ve been doing when I’ve not been fretting over pixel-fitting and other web design nonsense.

Wandering through my village
An inquisitive sheep
A spoopy sunset
God's own land
Quite breathtaking

One evening, after my mum had woken up from her post-night-shift sleep, we spontaneously decided to head to Manchester to make our rounds of the huge Christmas markets that take over the centre once a year. My mum, dad, and I spent a good few hours snacking our way around the stalls, enjoying highlights such as delicious garlic mushrooms, gammon sandwiches and my personal favourite: a cherry and chocolate brownie.

Wandering the alleys of Manchester
An interesting bookshop
A rather pink tree

Last week I also had the excitement of a couple of days spent in Leeds, heading for a meeting with a company whose name I shan’t disclose, and – of course – spending plenty of time catching up with uni friends. I stayed over with Em and Lincoln, who were so gracious as to let me crash at their lovely new house for a couple of nights, and managed to have a kebab evening with Rhea and Luisa, a coffee with Danni, and half a day having lunch and a work party with Izzy in her new studio space.

I was treated to the joys of the state of British Public Transport.

Northern Fail life

On Thursday morning I had the misfortune of having to use the British public transport system to meet my mum and her friend Sue in Manchester for a trip to the Trafford Centre. After being rinsed of over £26 just to have one of the trains terminate a station before expected, I eventually made it to the big shopping centre, where we spent a full day looking at watches and enjoying a delicious Five Guys lunch.

The Trafford Centre

Since then, I’ve poured many more hours into getting my new website and portfolio together, and I will, as mentioned, update you on all that in an upcoming blog post. Right now I am watching the orange sun set outside my window, and enjoying the comfy embrace of the “fancy” chair that I stole earlier from our downstairs office.

The sunset casts its patterns

I must dash now, however, as I’ve to get dressed and perfumed and ready to go out for a lovely Italian dinner for a catch up with Amber and Jess. Who knows, we might even go out for a few drinks and a boogie afterwards…