So much change, so little time

Life has a funny way of just passing you by if you do not stop and live it. I know that is what happened to me this past year.

In May I moved to a new city, started a new job, moved in with my best friend and felt like I made a start on real adult life. What a rude awakening that was. My job was everything I had hoped it would be, super fun and engaging, but also challenging, exhausting and uncertain at times. I was originally contacted until All Hallows but got extended until just before Christmas, in little dabs of weeks and days at time. So much for a steady income. I also just worked too much and too hard considering I had just come out of a year with stress and moving and generally feeling down.

But this was also a year of actually feeling pretty settled, of realising that life is too short and I am too old to still consider every place of residence temporary. Yes we haven’t bought a house, we have no garden and no pets but the flat we’re in might still house us for the next couple of years and there is no reason to feel out of place just because not this might not be forever.

 

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View from the flat. Not exactly rural but we are on the very edge of town.

My best friend has been a huge part of making Our Flat, Inverness, Scotland feel like a home. She brings me such comfort in daily life and I truly hope this sense of peace will last into the next year. We are really liking Inverness, Scotland is a beautiful country and we are enjoying the constant view of mountains and the colder temperatures.

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The top of nearby Tomnahurich Hill, a fairy hill between the Canal and the River Ness which has served as a Cemetery since the 1800 hundreds (at least from the oldest graves I could see)

In the year past I graduated university and went through the whole glamorous event in St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney. As a result I got to see my parent over here twice as they also came here for their summer vacation.

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Me in my fancy graduation robe. I wish we could have had good old fashioned wool ones as the 100% Polyester was rather cold in the brisk Orkney breeze. 

My contract ending mid December meant I got home in time for Christmas and I spent around a month in Denmark visiting family ans seeing friends. So that was a real highlight of the year.

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I enjoyed autumn in our backyard woods, which houses Essich Burn, a lovely little stream and a wonderful place for a walk.

This year I am applying for the same job I had last year, though for less hours and hopefully that will help me keep my life more balanced. I am going to try and do more of the things that make me happy, like knitting more, going for long walks and writing this blog as that feels so freeing and I like getting things off my chest.

I wish you all the best in your own wrestles with life an that bright elusive concept called balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Shift of Circumstance

March and April have brought longer days and lighter moods into my life. Spring however has also brought immense changes. I got a new job in Inverness so I will be moving soon. Tomorrow actually.

The position is only seasonal so it’s not quite as settled as I was hoping for but it is a decent wage and will definitely look good on my CV. While I’ve gotten a new job I haven’t yet found a place to live in Inverness so I’ll have to live in a hostel to start with. However the letting market seems to constantly shift and move and make new houses and apartments available so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a place to live.

Considering how lonely Orkney was when I just moved here and had no way of really meeting friends I was apprehensive about moving somewhere completely new and unknown once again, but luckily one of my favourite people in the world needed a change of pace and is coming to Scotland too. We’ll be living together and I can’t wait for all the fun and cosy times we are gonna have. I really have missed her and many of my friends in Denmark.

As I’m saying goodbye to Orkney I’ve finally gotten round to doing a couple of the things I kept telling myself I had to see and do while I was living here, one of them was seeing the upper levels of the cathedral.

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St. Magnus Cathedral is really a magnificent building and nearly every window in the church is fitted with stained glass windows.

The cathedral was founded in 1137 by Earl Rognvald, nephew of St Magnus himself. Its been extended and repaired extensively since then and now look completely different than it did upon the original completion.

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A stone removed from the original window frame in one of the big windows during later repairs. Here you can see the makers marks from the stone masons who carved these rocks.
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Stained and painted glass window portraying Harald Hårfager the Norwegian king. Most of the windows in the Cathedral contain stained glass windows.
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The west entrance of the Cathedral and the central nave with the baptismal font right inside the entrance.
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The west window is the lastest addition to the building and is full of Orkney imagery.
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One of the figures on the beautiful wooden pulpit, probably one of the disciples.

My last day in Orkney was mainly spent at work but I also had time to go swimming at Inganess beach with my roommate, pack the last few things and try to make myself mentally ready for leaving tomorrow morning and then being kind of homeless for the next little while.

So many things are changing and I’ll miss so many people here but I’m also so so so excited for all the new things. I feel really brave and ready to handle this just now, so fingers crossed that feeling stays.

I hope you all the best and if you’re though change just hold on and ride it out, things always somehow settle again.

Late winter blues

February was an odd month for me. After having spent all of January in Denmark I had become hyper aware of how transient I am as a student. I crave settling down somewhere more permanent, somewhere I can feel like I belong. Somewhere I can create a daily life that gives me some stability and makes me happy. Honestly I think it was the January blues that struck me late because I had such a stressful time before Christmas, and spent January constantly occupied with my favourite people. One of my good friends moved away from Orkney in February as well and I was struck with the sudden fear of being as lonely as when I moved here again. Which is silly really as I know plenty of people here now, but the fear was still there and very uncomfortable.

The beginning of March has differed, luckily, and though I am still in a stressful bubble I feel more emotionally equipped to handle it. I have been going to these Stress Control sessions that the NHS in Orkney are putting on and it feels like they are really changing my perspective on stress. I have tried to get outside as much as possible as well. Even if I have to take the same walk everyday I just need some air and to catch the last light. On top of that I finally found the energy to give the house a good clean and that always cheers me up. A clean living environment can really lift your spirits.

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The sun setting behind Hoy is always so stunning. I’m really going to miss Orkney sunsets when I move away.

The weather has been very varied, as is usual in Orkney, and I got to experience real snow and cold weather this winter after all (I had not realised how much I missed it). Recently though we’ve had a really bright spell and everything seems to be growing and spring is really in the air.

The other day when walking to work a rook dropped a stick on me. It is really a sign of spring when Kirkwall’s large parliament of rooks (I looked it up and that should be the right term, parliament) starts nesting. The birds are so loud and messy but they are really part of the picture of daily life in Kirkwall.

I’m looking forward to warmer weather. Today I hung the washing outside and it felt SO good to be able to feel the sun on my skin. Tomorrow I’m going to Edinburgh to attend Edinburgh Yarn Festival for the first time and I’m really excited to go! Hopefully travelling south will bring me some much needed laughs and hugs, as I’m gonna see quite a few friends.

This is what “the beast from the east” looked like in Kirkwall
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Early morning rooks taking flight
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I’ve managed to catch some really beautiful sunsets this month
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Even though Kirkwall’s grey and brown houses can get somewhat bland everything gains a certain beauty at sunset
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Orkney has so few trees that the ones growing here are treasured dearly, crippled little things that they are

The winds of change

Welcome here big and small!

The new year is well underway and it feels like it is moving way too fast. I do not quite feel ready for the new challenges this year will bring. This year means the end of studying. This year means graduating. This year means moving. This year means quitting my job and hopefully finding a new one. This year means changes in almost every aspect of my life and so I decided to start a blog to keep track of it all.

I hope to share little bits of my daily life wherever it may take me and keep some record of what I did with all the moments that will come to pass.

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Here is a little glimpse of St Magnus Cathedral ‘The Light in the North’, which I pass by everyday on my way into town. In front of it you can just see the tower in the ruin of Bishops Palace.

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