Tuesday, 25 July 2017

How I feel about living on my own

The little book of hygge meik wiking

A couple of months ago I posted a flat tour of my new flat in Liverpool that I will be living in on my own as a junior doctor. It has changed a lot since the empty tour - over the last few weeks I have moved in furniture, decorative accessories, many, many candles, pictures, and lots of cushions and blankets to make it feel really cosy and, well, like my home.

And tomorrow I will finally fully move in. I have stayed there for a few nights when I have been up in Liverpool over the summer, but I've never stayed there by myself, and it consequently hasn't properly felt like my own flat. On Thursday I start my induction week for work, and will start as a foundation doctor next Wednesday, so tomorrow will be the first night I spend on my own in my new home.

Quite a few people have asked me whether I'm worried about living on my own, as I guess it's quite a big step. The truthful answer is no, I'm actually really excited!

I have lived in a house share with 4 other girls for the past 3 years and I had a tiny bedroom, so I'm looking forward to having my own space and independence. I'm looking forward to getting back from work and not necessarily having to talk to anyone if I don't want to - I can just curl up on my sofa and read a book or watch Netflix. I also like the fact that I will be able to have other people over without having to worry about annoying anyone else, and I can spread my stuff out all over the flat as much as I like. My mess is my mess, and I can clean it up as and when I want to. I can also have baths whenever I like and not worry about hogging the bathroom!

I think the biggest excitement for me was being able to decorate my flat just as I wanted it, without having to consult with anyone else. Obviously I couldn't change the wall colours or structural elements as it is a rental flat, but I was able to pick out textiles in the colours I wanted, add my own prints to the walls, and choose a pink kettle just because I wanted one. I also fell in love with the flat as soon as I walked in - most of the walls are painted a lovely shade of grey and it has so much character, with some stairs leading down to the bathroom and the eaves evident around the front window.

I guess it's going to be a bit strange to get used to being by myself most of the time, but I quite like my own company and I think after a long day at work it will be quite therapeutic for me. Plus a lot of my friends live just around the corner, so I'm looking forward to hosting dinner parties for them on my new shiny tableware!
There will always be a reason why you meet new people. Either you need to change your life, or you're the one that'll change theirs.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Hawkstone Park

Green Satin Kimono - New Look
T-Shirt - Topshop
Jeans - New Look
Belt - Asos (Similar)
Stan Smith Trainers - Adidas

Firstly, I just wanted to apologise for the quality of these photos. There was a weird white smudge on all of them that has never been on my camera lens before. My camera has really been playing up recently and has not been focusing properly, so I need to get it professionally cleaned and fixed. I just loved this outfit so much that I wanted to show you it anyway, even if the photo quality is poor!

I got this satin kimono for my birthday and I absolutely love it. I also love the t-shirt with the embroidered succulents. This is such a typical 'me' outfit - jeans and a t-shirt, plus something printed over the top. It's so easy to throw on and was perfect for a walk around Hawkstone Park on Saturday.

Hawkstone Park is situated near Shrewsbury in Shropshire, and is a large parkland covering over 100 acres, dating back to the 18th century. It is made up of caves, cliffs, towers, bridges, ravines, arches and woodland, and a walk around the park can take up to 3 and a half hours (although there are much shorter walks that take just an hour). These photos were taken from The Monument, a tower that is around 100 foot high and has amazing views over the whole of Shropshire.

Myself and my friend Roxy wanted a fairly cheap day out, so I suggested that we visit Hawkstone as she had never been before and it cost us each around £8. We spent hours wandering around the park, discovering interesting things around every corner we turned. I especially loved the Grotto (a series of caves - make sure you take a torch as they are very dark!) and the Swiss bridge (a thin wooden bridge over a ravine). The views from the park were pretty spectacular too. Just as we were heading back to the car - and were at the farthest point possible in the park - the heavens opened and it tipped it down. We walked as quickly as we could back to the start of the park, and decided to stop in the cafe for a drink as we were soaked through.

I really enjoyed our day at Hawkstone and it felt like quite an adventurous day out - I was really tired when I got home. I would definitely recommend a visit if you're looking for something a bit different to do in the Shropshire area. It would suit all ages, although I wouldn't recommend it for those that are less mobile as there is a lot of walking and climbing stairs involved.
Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.

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