When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and, like a dream, glides away – Sarah Helen Whitman.
As summer comes to an end, I want to reflect on all the amazing moments that I’ve had this year. Summer has not been an easy one, and those who are close to me will know that I’ve had my heart broken a few times too many. Don’t worry, not in the relationship aspect of my life. If anything, Warren has become even more of a rock than ever before, if that were possible. My mind wasn’t in the best place for a little while, but as with all massive changes, that is to be expected. I knew it had changed, but I didn’t realise the massive impact that it had on me until long after all of the days that I felt low. But, despite all of the dark clouds that seem to have hovered over one of my favourite times of the year, I have so many cherished memories of the past few months that I wanted to share all of them here.
Summer, for me, started the moment I finished work in The Perfume Shop… in April. I know. I know. It is technically still spring, but with the heatwaves, long sunny days, incredible holidays and five weeks of no work, April and May certainly felt like I had just finished the hard slog of university and was enjoying an extra long summer.
MY BEST FRIEND GOT ENGAGED
It seems like forever ago since my best friend messaged me (when I was bed bound, ill) a black and white photo of her and her then-boyfriend, now-fiancé’s hand with a gorgeous ring on her third finger. I burst into tears, suddenly forgot about my illness and jumped out of bed. Then ensued the last minute engagement party. They turned it around in about a fortnight; typical Ellie being super organised about everything. I gave them both a little surprise too… being Maid of Honour and all!
THREE WEEKS OF PURE TRAVEL
Literally three days after the engagement party, Warren and I flew to Amsterdam for three days of sightseeing, eating, drinking and relaxation. I don’t want to know how many steps we walked, but every one was worth it. Amsterdam had been on our bucket list pretty much since the beginning of the relationship, and I told a sneaky white lie to put him off wanting to book the holiday; this was his 30th birthday present and it couldn’t have gone better if we had tried! I have written plenty of blog posts about Amsterdam – about their sex culture, the Jewish Quarter and some last minute tips! We’d love to go back one day to relive the amazing memories we have, visit Anne Frank’s House and drink more wine!
Three days after I landed back in the UK from Amsterdam, I flew to Tenerife for a girls holiday I will never, ever forget. Some classic sayings and classic stories have come from that holiday and a close friendship was cemented in four short days. We had the best time and even though I was only there for a matter of days, I am so glad my mum convinced me to go with her well, why not? YOLO attitude (not that my mum would ever say YOLO). Even though we went in May, I still talk about it; it was one of those last minute, spontaneous decisions that ended up being one of the highlights of my entire year.
A week later, Warren and I ferried across to Dublin for a road trip that I will remember forever. It was the first time in nearly a year that we spent a full week together (we had already decided we were moving in together) so it was a week of really getting to know one another… without the usual break in between. Luckily, we got on like a house on fire, otherwise our lives may have panned out a little differently this summer. I can’t believe how much we packed into seven days. It felt like we were there for two weeks just because of the sheer amount of places we visited in such a short space of time. The best part for the both of us was… wait for it… the camping! I know. Me and camping have never mixed before; luckily Warren is a pro. Along the coast of Northern Ireland, it felt like we were worlds away from reality and we both really needed that kind of break. I spent less time on my phone and just embraced the fresh air and the beautiful scenery around us. If you want to read more about our Irish road trip, you can here, here and here.
OUR FIRST HOME
After what seemed like months on end – and with my moving down south coming closer and closer – we found a house that we loved. And then it was rented to somebody else and I am so glad!! The house we now call home is a thousand times better than the other one and the only reason we saw this one was because of a surprise viewing from the estate agents. We both immediately fell in love: Warren in the house, me via WhatsApp video. Then came the wait to see if we could get it… and we did! Even on the first morning after we moved in, I felt completely at home. None of my things were in the house, but it just had that home feel. We can see ourselves being here for quite a long time.
Family has always been important to me. I popped home a couple of times to be with family during a hard time, just as they would do the same for me, and I plan on doing for the rest of my life, no matter where I am in the world. I’m not talking about those family weekends here, because as much as it was lovely to see everyone, they were tinged with sadness and so I can’t say they were a highlight of the summer. The weekends that I did enjoy, however, have been both random and planned. A random one was a trip to a car show (not my top way to spend a morning, but family time is family time) and a BBQ during the afternoon (that’s more like it!). Another time, four of us, including this beauty connoisseur, drove in convoy to Bradford for a family reunion of Warren’s family, before going to celebrate my cousin’s thirteenth birthday, and the following weekend, Warren and I went to Wales to celebrate another cousin’s birthday that ended with a surprise engagement!
SUMMER BANK HOLIDAY
What a way to close the summer than spending time with two of my favourite humans. I won’t delve too much into the events because I’ve recently written an entire blog post about the best bits of our three-day-weekend. Just know that we had an incredible time and I don’t want to wait until the next bank holiday to make more memories like the ones we did then!
And with that, summer is nearly over for another year… not officially, of course, but my mind is already spinning with plans for autumn. I am ready for the nights under the blanket whilst the candles flicker on my bookshelf and I drink all of the warm drinks whilst wearing the cosy clothes. I will miss summer, but the plans for next year are already in motion… with a hen party as the star of the show!
How was your summer?
Love, Faye xo