Friday, 21 July 2017

Love in Row 27 by Eithne Shortall

Whilst I was on holiday in Croatia I made my way through 6 books, and Love in Row 27 was one of them that I wanted to share with you.

Love in Row 27 is the debut romance novel by Irish author Eithne Shortall. Cora Hendricks is an Aer Lingus check-in attendant at Heathrow Airport, who decides to play cupid with the airline's passengers. For each flight she uses her intuition and the internet to seat two unknowing singles next to each other on row 27, hoping that they will find love. Cora is recently single and has given up on ever finding love herself - but will she see the man standing right in front of her through her own scheming with row 27?

This novel was a lovely addition to my collection, and was a really easy read whilst I was on holiday. It was also quite funny - both myself and my mum were cracking up whilst we were reading it (she borrowed it after I had finished it). The characters in the book were really relatable and the story had some unexpected twists and turns - I didn't predict the end until quite a way into the book, which is unusual for a romance novel. As it was just set in England, the story also did not feel over the top or out of reach like some of the books set in far-flung places of the world. If you're flying somewhere this summer, or even just dreaming of a holiday, definitely give this novel a go. I really enjoyed it and felt quite sad when I finished it, which is always a sign of a good book!
Strive for progress not perfection.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

How I feel about entering my mid-twenties

Yesterday I turned 24 years old!

I always used to think that entering my mid-twenties would make me feel so old and grown-up - when I was a teenager it seemed like a long way away, and good riddance. But in my early twenties I started to realise that I actually enjoyed getting older, and I have enjoyed myself more and more as time has gone on.

My early twenties have been some of the happiest years of my life, especially 22 and 23. Each year that passes seems to be even better than the last, and I now find myself embracing change and embracing getting older. As cheesy as it sounds, one of the things that my depression made me realise is that each day is precious, and I am so lucky to be happy right now. Each year that passes is an achievement, as it shows that I was able to battle through my depression and all of the horrible thoughts that made me not want to be here anymore.

As I am getting older I am also learning so much more about myself, and am starting to embrace who I am. I am so much more comfortable in my own skin and worry much less about my looks and what other people think about me. I think getting older allows you to develop perspective around what is most important in life, and that perhaps makes you worry less about the things that don't really matter. I think this age is one of the factors that helped me to overcome my depression.

I also have so much to look forward to in the upcoming future. I became a doctor the same week that I turned 24 (and was able to say I was a doctor at 23 as I graduated two days before my birthday, which I was quite pleased about!), and I'm looking forward to starting my new job next week. I'm also in the process of moving into a beautiful new flat by myself, which I am so excited about. I've had so much fun picking out the furniture and decorative accessories for each of the rooms, and I'm really going to enjoy the space and independence that living by myself will bring.

Turning 24 is basically the start of the rest of my life, and I'm so excited to see what the future brings.
The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are. The second greatest is being happy with what you find.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I'm a doctor!

Yesterday was my graduation day, so I'm now officially a doctor (i.e. have responsibilities now)! I graduated in the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and it was such a lovely ceremony - especially lovely as I was surrounded by friends and colleagues that I have known for 5 years now.

The mortar board didn't particularly suit me (does it suit anyone?!), but I enjoyed swishing around in my gown for the day, even if it was really hot. My whole family, including my grandparents, came along to support me, which was amazing and I'm so glad that they could all be there with me.

I've got to say that now I am a doctor I don't feel any different than I did two days ago! I think it will really sink in when I start work next week, and I realise what I've actually signed up for. I'm scared but also really excited to see what's to come.

Friday, 14 July 2017

How I feel about finishing medical school and becoming a doctor

I graduate in 3 days' time. THREE DAYS.

In 3 days I will become Dr Hannah, after 5 years of hard work, tears, happiness and elation. I can honestly say that I have loved medical school, especially the last 3 years. I have loved living in Liverpool, meeting some incredible people, learning so much content that I sometimes wonder how it fits in my brain, and being privileged to be able to help patients whilst on placement.

The best part of medical school has definitely been our clinical placements, as I much prefer learning on the job than sitting in lectures all day. I have especially enjoyed General Practice, psychiatry, palliative care and A&E, and have met some inspiring and fascinating people during these placements, both patients and medical staff.

I also feel like I have learnt a lot about myself over the past 5 years, and I genuinely believe that studying medicine has helped me overcome my depression. It has given me a focus, a passion, and also showed me how strong and resilient I can be during tough moments. The joy of finding a career that I feel like I was made to do is indescribable. As soon as I decided I wanted to be a doctor 6 years ago, everything just seemed to click into place, and I knew that it was the right career path for me.

As well as the cliche of being able to help people, I am also able to learn something new every day through medicine. I get to meet new people all the time, I never know what the next day will hold, and I have learnt how just listening to someone can make all the difference in the world. I am now the master of small talk, as well as knowing when to pause and just let someone speak - and I've learnt all this at medical school.

I will miss the security of medical school and knowing that I probably wasn't responsible if something went wrong. I will miss having days off and long holidays. I will miss some of the people that will be moving away, and the structure of being in education.

However I am really excited about being a doctor. I'm excited about being responsible for patients and being able to make some decisions about their care. I'm looking forward to having a little more freedom than medical school. And I'm not going to lie, I'm looking forward to earning some money! I now feel ready to move on and start the next chapter of my life.

On the other hand I'm also quite scared about what being a doctor will mean. I am equally scared about the responsibility and what will happen if something goes wrong. I'm scared about being able to manage the long hours and whether I'll have time to see my family and friends. I'm also hoping that the pressure will be good for me, rather than make my mental health suffer again.

I think being a doctor is going to bring lots of good days, as well as some bad days. I'm hoping that the good days will be really rewarding and will remind me of why I chose medicine in the first place. I'm hoping that I will thrive and be the best doctor that I can be. I'm looking forward to finding out, and to see what the next chapter brings!

Hannah x

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Slip dress and sliders

Dress - Missguided
T-Shirt - Primark
Sliders - Primark
Sunglasses - Bought in Australia

All I have done today is sunbathe, sleep, swim and eat lots of food, and it has been glorious. When we're away as a family we tend to go out one day and stay around the pool the next, and I love both types of days. We've only got a few more days left in Croatia and I'm actually really looking forward to getting back to normality. I'm looking forward to a big glass of blackcurrant squash!

Hannah x

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The day we visited Slovenia

As we are staying so far north in Croatia, we are nearly on the Slovenian border. So today we decided to visit Piran, a coastal town in southern Slovenia with medieval architecture and Venetian influences.

I've had this dress for about 3 years now, and I still love it as much as I did back then. It's originally from Missguided and is so timeless with the white colour and cheesecloth material. It's lovely and cool in the hot weather, and I find myself reaching for it again and again during the summer months.

I fell in love with Piran and its multicoloured houses, especially the pastel ones in the main piazza (first photo in this post), as they reminded me of ice-cream. There were lots of little cafes and restaurants to while away the time in, and the sea looked so inviting as we were walking past it.

I wasn't sure what Slovenia would be like, but I'd love to see some more of it! If you plan on driving into the country like us, remember your passport as they check it at the border. You also have to buy a pass to be able to drive in Slovenia otherwise you may get a huge fine - these can be brought at most service stations in Croatia.

Hannah x

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Pizza in Motovun

Dress - New Look
Sandals - Tesco (Old)
Bag - Bought in Bali

We spent most of today around the pool, and then this evening we visited a hilltop town called Motovun. Motovun is a walled town in the Istria region of Croatia, and is very medival-looking with lots of little streets and a church with a tall tower at the centre. We wandered around the town for a little while and then stopped at a restaurant for pizza, which looked down on the beautiful valley below.

 I now feel stuffed and sleepy from all the food I ate (I also had a huge bowl of ice-cream), so I am going to get into bed and sleep it off otherwise I think I'll sink in the pool in the morning!

Hannah x

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Likes and followers do not define your worth

I think sometimes people need to be reminded that social media is not real life. It does not define a person, and it especially does not define their worth.

In a world obsessed with how our lives are portrayed online, it can be easy to forget that there is a person behind the likes and followers. It can be easy to make an assumption that the more likes and followers a person has, the more interesting, attractive, or worthy they are.

Likes don't make you a good person. Likes don't make you motivated, passionate, creative or interesting. 10000 followers doesn't make you kind or happy. Double tapping on a screen to like someone's post on Instagram takes no time at all, and neither does a button to follow someone on Twitter.

In the blogging world, it can be really easy to get wrapped up in numbers, trying to promote yourself over social media and get your platform noticed. However even if you only have one loyal follower, surely that's an achievement? (Hi Mum!) You have managed to keep one person captivated - interested in your life and what you have to say. I always think that it's the way you make people feel that really matters, as that is what they will remember, and if your blog or social media platform makes just one person happy, then surely that's an incredible achievement.

Don't rely on others for your self-worth, especially if that comes from numbers on a screen that represent people that don't really know you. Upload to your social media as much as you like, but spend the rest of the time focusing on what really matters - the people that love you for who you are, 6 followers or 6 million followers.

Hannah x

Friday, 7 July 2017

Dolphin watching boat tour

Dress - Glamorous via Topshop
Sandals - Primark

 Today we decided that we would spend the morning around the pool and then visit Rovinj again this afternoon and evening to go on a dolphin watching boat tour. I chose this dress from Glamorous to wear when we went out, as although the sleeves are fairly long, it's a really light floaty material that is quite cool. I also love the floral pattern on it, and the buttons up the front.

Rovinj was absolutely sweltering this afternoon, and as we were walking around I was so tempted to jump into the sea. We wandered around some of the shops and the little winding streets, trying to stay in the shade as much as possible (and find any shops with air conditioning!). It is such a beautiful town with lots of different coloured buildings and interesting streets.

Ice-cream was essential as it was so hot!

At around 7.30pm we boarded a little boat that was going to take us to look for dolphins and watch the sunset. They took us to the dolphin feeding grounds and we saw a small school of them, jumping in and out of the water. It was gorgeous with the sun setting in the background, and I loved that my sisters were able to see them as they have never seen dolphins in the wild before, and they are such special animals.

Hannah x