It’s been a while since I did one of these monthly updates, but if there was ever any month that needed one, it’s October 2017. Where to start? Let’s go from the top!
I started the month in Los Angeles, which still feels pretty surreal. It’s the second time I’ve been to LA; the first time was back in 2015 as part of my West Coast America trip, and this time was for my day job. Last year I was given the opportunity to go, but I immediately declined because I was looking after my mum during her chemotherapy. She was angry and upset, telling me that I should go… But then I reminded her that this was coming from the same person who decided to spend all her holiday spending money on coming home from Glasgow the day after we arrived because we both wanted to be with my poorly grandad. Nevertheless, I was so grateful for the opportunity to go back this year, and I like to think that my mum is now free to come on all the travels she wants with me.
While I was in LA mainly to meet up with people in the work HQ, I thankfully did have some time to fill in some of the gaps of my previous sightseeing. This mainly involved going for a hike up Runyon Canyon with rescue dogs, and yes this was every bit as amazing as it sounds. Even if I did end up with gorgeous, elderly Gordon who had to be carried during parts! But he did so well and I fell in love with him, and now I need to find a way to reunite us again. Full blog post on this coming shortly as I have SO MUCH to tell you about this awesome activity!
Other things I got up to in LA were staying at an Airbnb in Venice Beach (Probably one of the best Airbnb locations I’ve ever stayed in!), trying tacos for the first time ever, wandering down Abbot Kinney blvd, and heading back to The Grove to see it in all its Halloween glory. Los Angeles is definitely a place that has grown on me more after a second visit. It was so frantic trying to tick off sights on the first visit that we almost didn’t appreciate the more chilled-out side to the city.
The weekend after I got back from LA, I was back in London to move my boyfriend into his new flat. Sorry, I should say our new flat. Yep, I’m officially moving to London. Eek x7384.
If I’m honest, the move is somewhat of a bittersweet occasion. I’m so looking forward to being under the same roof as my boyfriend of, uh, 7 (almost 8!) years. But I’m also so unbelievably sad to be leaving behind the family home, where all my memories of my mum and grampa are. People have tried to reassure me that those memories are in my heart and my mind, and I know that they’re right. And in my mind, I’m just moving them both in with me – at the moment, the only things of mine at the flat are photos of the two of them, plus some sentimental trinkets(!). I’ll be moving in at the end of November when I get back from my next trip. Of course, I’ll be taking my gingers with me, and I didn’t want to just dump them in unfamiliar surroundings and swan off for a week. We’ve definitely compromised on space so that we can have a private garden for the cats (sorryyyy, Ian), but hey. If my cats are happy, I’m happy. 🌚
October’s also been a month full of fundraising for Fair Havens Hospice, the place that looked after my mum during her last two weeks. First thing’s first was a 10k up in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. It was one of my mum’s favourite places, so when I saw there was an annual 10k road race, I just had to sign up. Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you I’ve never been much of a runner. It was only during the last 18 months or so that I’ve started doing short 2-5km runs a couple times a week in order to get healthy, lose weight, and clear my head. Because of this, a 10k was a MASSIVE challenge for me. And for my boyfriend Ian, who I managed to persuade to sign up with me 😉
But we did it! And I even did it without stopping or walking (despite my dodgy knee), finishing in a time of 1:07:08. Altogether, we raised over £1,200 for the hospice, with more donations still trickling in!
And just yesterday, my godfather (and my mum’s oldest friend) put on a local gig for the hospice. He got his guitar out, played some of mum’s favourite tracks, and put on a Halloweenie night to remember. Of course, my best mate and I dressed up as zombie versions of our own cats, because we’re so creative like that. 💁 The evening was a big success and raised over £400!
What I’ve Been Watching
I’ve watched so much Netflix this month it’s unreal. I am now basically one with the sofa. But there are so many amazing shows on at the moment that I just can’t stop watching!
- Stranger Things 2 – Already halfway through the season. I don’t want it to end!
- The Good Place – A weekly show on Netflix starring Kristen Bell as someone who dies and ends up in afterlife’s The Good Place by accident. These 20-minute episodes are way too easy to binge. I’m just annoyed I’m now up to date and have to wait for a new episode each week. Eurgh. How did I do this back in the 90s?!
- Designated Survivor – Kiefer Sutherland stars as a low-level American Cabinet member, who suddenly becomes President after an attack that wipes out the rest of the Cabinet. Gripping. Again, annoyed I’m now up to date. Grrr.
So, next month is another biggie.
As well as The Big Move to London at the end of the month, I’m also off to Toronto and Cuba in less than 2 weeks! I’m seriously hoping my Cuban visa arrives in time, otherwise it’s going to be the shortest trip ever. It’ll be our first time in both countries and the excitement is almost too much… Both Ian and I have been talking about going to Canada and Cuba for so long, that it still feels slightly unbelievable that we’ll be there soon. If anyone has any tips for where to go/what to see/what to do in either Toronto or Havana, please let me know! I’m especially interested in any good day trips from Havana, and any tours/companies that you could recommend.