The White House and Christmas πŸŽ„πŸŒŸπŸŒ²πŸŽ…πŸΌπŸŽ„πŸŒŸπŸŒ²

I’m finally in Scotland and what a wait it has been!

The term is over, I’ve taken time off work and managed to move house and all the energy I had has gone…..

My aunt ever so kindly picked me up from Manchester on the way up to my grans in Scotland. She was caught in a terrible traffic-jam so took a bit longer than expected, but it suited me fine because I managed to fit in a hot yoga session and pick up a few last minute presents for my gran and cousin, Tom.

I should have tried to do some more unpacking, but this just became too stressful to be doing at the time, so unfortunately I have a partially messy room and quite a bit of unpacking to get back to.

Oh well – the wonderful feeling of relief that warmed my bones when I saw my aunt and gave her a hug makes up for that one.

And once we hit the road, after the dreadful Manchester four o’clock traffic, our inner teenagers took over and we didn’t stop chattering and catching up until we reached my grans house three and a bit hours later. I hadn’t realised just how much I had missed her.

My gran was so wonderful, as per usual. She has this ‘tradition’, as such, that every time we drive up to visit she buys us our bread and milk and some cereal etc for the next morning so that we at least have some food in the house we are staying in before we get to the shops the next day. It goes along with the whole ‘grannies like to feed’ notion, and I love it, she always sticks a few treats in with it, and all the food stuff she no longer wants. πŸ˜‚

I have an extremely soft spot for her, she is wonderful beyond compare. I was extremely jealous though, she has EIGHTEEN Christmas cards hung up around her lounge! Eighteen for goodness sake. I counted myself lucky for having received three so far and she has six times as many (also slightly embarrassed that I compete with my gran over Christmas cards). But it’s so lovely to be with her regardless.

We are staying in this wonderful little house, The White House, just off of the high street about five minutes from my grans house. We stay here quite often when we come for a long time because my grans house has enough space for her and her alone. There’s no ways that my uncle, aunt, cousin, other nan, myself and the the dog could fit in there!

The White House

The White House is kind of a home away from a home away from a home (I actually have so many different places I call home) and it brings back many a memory! The last time we stayed here was when my mum and dad were visiting. How my little hearts aches when I think that I’m not spending this Christmas with them, but there’s a little more solace knowing we were all here together not so long ago.

Scotland is just so great, there’s something in the air that brings such peace and quiet and I can’t wait to go for a run ad clear my mind of this long year in the Dalbeattie forest just down the road. Really is the break away from life that I’ve been in need of. Even better is that there is no WiFi signal here and barely any network for my 3G, so digital detox, here I come.

AND ITS CHRISTMAS TIME πŸŽ„ my presents are all wrapped and ready to go, and all that’s left is dressing the tree again….

I wish you all such a Merry Christmas. I hope you treasure the day with family and friends and remember it isn’t about the commercialised gifts you give and receive, but about the time spent with loved ones. It’s a time to reminisce and realise just how lucky you are to have what you have and to enjoy each others company.

I’ll catch up with you soon,

Denty x

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My life in boxes….. (And plastic bags)

It is the first official day of holidays and I’m sat in my room having just finished boxing up my room.

The big move is finally upon us, and Pip, Liv and I are just waiting on one final form to be signed and then we can go collect the keys to our new apartment and start moving all of this stuff!

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Basically what my life amounts to right now.

I really do not envy people who move house, yet alone apartments and rooms. Us three haven’t even started the transporting stage and its already a nightmare!

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Please note what a grey day it is!

Alas, the place we are moving into is gorgeous. So much natural light, so much more space, a bathtub and its ours and it will be worth it despite our sore wallets. (pictures to come shortly)

I’m still on the lookout for someone to take over my old contract for my student accommodation – hint hint if you know of anyone! I’ve taken such a huge gamble in signing and moving into a new place without having someone to take over my old, but it was a risk I had to take.

I keep having stressful days worrying over it and panicking, but there isn’t much I can do. What has happened has happened. I can only remind myself to be as positive as possible, keep calm, and know that in good time, patience will prevail.

Fingers crossed. What will be will be.

I’m off to go start moving, but will continue writing and keeping you all up to date with the move.

Denty x

Old souls in young bodies.

LEAF on Portland Street.

Talks about our dogs and cats. Talks about the countryside, green grass and home. Talks about books. Comments on making a bookclub. Tea. Lots of tea alongside our food. Full english breakfast that is. One full english breakfast, two pescatarian english breakfasts and a vegan english breakfast “with an egg instead of mushroom please.”

This is how I spent my Sunday morning. If you read my previous post, you will know what emotional stress I was under and how low I was feeling. In my head I was surely to have been at home working on my essay, but thank goodness I wasn’t.

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The ‘gals’ and I spent our Sunday morning off before work at LEAF cafe on Portland street having brunch. We had many a laugh, many a deep conversation and even had our fair share of gossiping. It was lovely to spend time, all four of us, actually away from the restaurant and I went away (still in a bit of a panic about life) but a lot more at ease.

I’m so grateful that even when we don’t spend time as a four, I still get to do individual things with them each. Eff is my newly appointed yoga partner. I’m so proud of her for taking it up again and spending time on her wondrous self. Yanny and I go for catch up coffee sessions as often as possible (she works full time and is a bit harder to secure in her free time), but she really looks after me and spoils me with warmth, kindness and laughter all the time. And Katie and I have become weekly coffee shop explorers, trying out and rating new places, AND WE ARE GOING TO THE THEATRE TOGETHER TONIGHT!! (Wooohoo!) – I’m slightly excited.

I love spending time with all of them. Their souls are so similar to mine. Each in their own specific way, but they all have this way of making me feel comforted and at home. I feel we all agree on being older souls trapped in young bodies and having different values, preferences and tastes to what is considered the ‘cultural norm’ of today.

We experience things differently. We appreciate the smaller things in life, like the fact that is was snowing. We take life with a pinch of salt and don’t care that we don’t necessarily fit in. We appreciate time, we appreciate life and appreciate each other.

A huge factor of where I work has actually come down to these three, Rhiannon, Eithne and Katherine – very lucky to have crossed paths with you all ❀

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Back to leaf though. The food and drink at LEAF was absolutely amazing, as always, and I really encourage you to go if you can!! And while you are there, the blue and white china tea set that’s for sale as you walk in on the left? (Β£22) I’ll accept that as a Christmas present if anyone is feeling generous?

All my love guys and enjoy your evenings,

Denty x

FEEDBACK….

It has been a very hard and weird past few weeks. I have found the weight of the world to be even heavier than before, with past memories knocking on my front door and present day life pushing pressures and deadlines in my face.

Very overwhelming.

I have never been such an emotional wreck nor so snappy in my life – to those of you who have been around me, my apologies.

And I have never been a believer of the moon affecting our day to day lives, but after the weekend before lasts full moon and my mood, I am definitely going to be doing some research into it, because it’s way too coincidental for my liking.

Moon involved or not, it happens to the best of us, everyone goes through these bad and stressful times, it’s just some people are so good at hiding it. I know I can be. (Not this time though)

Work at the restaurant the first weekend of December was exhausting to say the least, we were a little understaffed, our new Christmas menu had come out, I was on some really long shifts and it was the weekend after pay day! Thank goodness I was accompanied by some of the most lovely ladies, (Katie, Yanny & Eff) who looked after me so very well. Not to mention the fact that the restaurant has a very strong teamwork ethic which helped push me by too.

Another quite big draining factor is the the essay I have due in this Friday. Yes, this Friday.

This has been one of the heaviest weights I’ve been carrying around and it has constantly been on my mind. My topic got changed around by my lecturer about three if not four times, and my first 800 word draft had to be edited quite a bit. That, work, the continuous attending of uni, writing articles for the news site and everyday life still going on around me has cut time extremely short.

Oh, and did I mention I’m planning on moving out my student accommodation. I can’t lie, this has been a whole new problem on a whole new page of a whole other book when it comes to stress!!

Part of me is scared as hell going through with this big move into a proper flat this time of the year, but the other part of me can’t wait to move in with Pip and Liv – for those of you who follow me on Instagram, these are the darling girls I dine with every week.

We have done a few apartment viewings and fallen in love with an eighth floored beauty! This place has captured each of our hearts and we payed the reservation fee yesterday. But what comes with moving, is the forms. The hundreds and thousands of tenant data and signing over forms, and these can be even scarier than your first 2000 word essay I tell you, specially when you are still on the lookout for someone to take over your room!

⭐️ HUGE THANKS TO PIP & LIV ⭐️

They have been so patient with me and have actually done the bulk of the work and it’s all happening thanks to them!

It doesn’t seem like much, but all these small happenings in my life have really tipped me over. Really so grateful for the friends near and far who have held me together, sat with me during the tears and pushed me through. Your advice, love and being is truely appreciated!

Good news on the other hand. My lecturer got back to me this evening after sending through the completed draft copy of my essay, all is pretty much a go. I was expecting such bad feedback, but apart from minimal clean ups and finishing my references, it is basically done!

Never before have I felt so free a woman! So much so, that even after a day behind a screen of reading and typing, I jumped straight back onto the blog – that is when you know the stress has taken a back step.

I hope you are all well and, if you are a student, that this time of the year hasn’t taken its toll on you too, let me know if it has.

All my love,

Denty x

Saturday Mornings….

What a beautiful Saturday morning I had.

I had an extremely long shift at work last Friday and only ended getting to bed at around midnight and was up at the crack of dawn to go meet my friends friend, Megan, for breakfast.

I’m going to claim that she’s my friend now too.

Megan goes to Exeter and is currently on her year abroad in Spain, but lives really close to Manchester.

When I first got here, she came into the city, took me out and showed me around some of the wonderful sites there are to see. First stop back then was Evelyns Cafe.

Plants hang from the ceiling and fill the walls and shelves.

It’s now one of my go-to places. The room itself is full of greenery and the coffee and food is top notch! I’ve even got their business card pinned up on my cork board, I hang my keys on the pin everyday and its a little reminder of my first week in Manchester.

For those of you who don’t already know, I have a (mild) obsession for coffee shops.

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Le cafe

Anyways, Megan came home for a while, and creatures of habit and lovers of good food, we went back to Evelyns again for breakfast.

Her mum and dad joined us this time and we all ended up ordering the same delicious chestnut mushrooms on sour dough toast with poached eggs, spinach and some creme fraise.

Breakfast with them was definitely what I needed. The company and family ‘vibe’ are truly what are missing in my life at the moment and I treasured every moment being with them.

You tend to forget the tenderness that is delivered when sat at around a table eating a meal.

Admittedly, my family did have their fair share of eating dinner ‘in-front of the TV’ moments rather than at the dining room table, but as I have grown up, I have realized two things:

  1. Eating at the dining room table allows for communication and interaction. It is one of the most important family values to install.
  2. The majority of TV is crap and is a waste of time.

One of my family rules will be to sit around the table each night and share our days happenings, talk to each other, and, more importantly, to listen.

But back to the coffee shop before I go on a tangent on todays generation and their lack of manners!

It really was a lovely morning and time well spent.Β I came away happy and whole hearted, and full to the brim with good food and coffee – good thing we walked it all off afterwards!

I can highly recommend going to visit Evelyn’s. I took my mum there when she was visiting Manchester and she was very pleased with it. They also do a lunch and dinner menu which I’m yet to try, but next time Meg is in town we may just spoil ourselves!

This is my mum pretending to be an angry bird.
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These are some of the beautiful views you can get when Manchester isn’t raining.

Sad to say the rest of my Saturday didn’t keep up with this optimistic vibe, but hey, thats another story.

All my love, Denty x

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took my mum here for brunch when she was visiting Manchester.

And on the first day of Christmas, yoga gave to me…. pretzel pose to twist and feel free… #STOLEN

 

The past two weeks have really been such a roller coast ride of I found starting yoga again has really helped me balance these all, but what with the (coup not a coup) that happened in my hometown – Zimbabwe, the essays and work I’ve got due, the fact that its Christmas in a few days time and I won’t be home and the weather thats changed from cold, to absolutely freezing, I’ve been all over the place.

Did I mention December 13th marks one year of not being home?

Back to yoga. I started yoga again after walking past the studios by mistake on the way to coffee with a work friend. Further investigations showed me they did hot yoga and I was signing up for it before you could say namaste!

Each session is ten pounds, which I’m more than happy to pay for. One step into the reception and you can feel the good aura about it. The centre is clean, and has three yoga studios, each so calming and full of beautiful natural light and there is a shower and change room. It’s literally all anyone could need, and so far, the people and instructors have been the most down to earth, fulfilling and energizing humans!

I ended up topping up my first ten pound drop in payment for a thirty pound beginner membership deal. Yes, I am a student, and yes, I am on a very tight budget, but as you’ll come to realize I’m the type of person who would rather spend my money on a yoga membership each month (alongside plenty of coffee dates) rather than, say, going out clubbing or drinking . In the words of Mrs Salmon: “different things for different people”.

I’m a very firm believer in the fact that self love and self worth comes first. Us humans tend to take life too seriously and we get stressed out way too easily. Time taken for ourselves is time well spent, and I’m proud to take time for myself every week.

‘How can you love anyone else if you can’t even love yourself first…’

Positive mindsets are hard to reach in this day and age what with the world that surrounds us, and we all have our own demons that haunt us and its up us to locate the light within and let it shine!

The beginner membership was for a three week trial, ALL classes included, for you to try out as many classes as possible to see which you’d like to sign up in the future for. Having done hot yoga before, this was an automatic must do for me and all in all, others classes included, out of the 21 days I managed to go ten times.

All of ten times.

I was quite disappointed in myself with this figure. Yes I had definitely got my moneys worth, but it just didn’t seem like enough….

It was more than enough. My negative mind and I sat down and worked out, ten times, in twenty-one days is basically an average of going every second day.

I lead a busy lifestyle. Within those 21 days, I had one of my close friends from Zimbabwe stay with me, as well as my mum the following weekend. I still went to gym, kept up with lectures and uni work, had some small aspects of a social life, worked at the restaurant, and even started up a blog. It was enough.

If anything, those ten times are probably what got me through it all. And I can definitely feel the difference. Not only physically, but mentally. The more unfocused and stressed I was, the harder the session.

I can remember going into yoga two or so days after Mugabe had resigned. The weight of the world was finally lifted off of my shoulders and my flow that day was strong, calm and mindful.

I was able to reach the poses I wasn’t reaching before and I could feel the strength in my body as well as my mind. I was able to push my thoughts aside and concentrate on what needed to be concentrated on.

It really is a mind healer, a body healer, and just an all round package of goodness which I highly advise it to all!

Admittedly don’t go and do a heavy upper body session the day before a yoga class – this I learnt the hard way – but do give it a try, you never know what might come of it for you.

I was so blessed to have one of my work friends start practicing alongside me, we are going for our second session together this Sunday, but if anyone in Manchester wants to give it a go or wants more information on the place I practice at, please don’t hesitate to ask…….

I send you all my love and warmth this wonderful Friday, the first day of the blog,

Denty x

A for away…

Early morning views from my window.

First post.

Right. Where do I start?

It’s my first little blurb, and I feel that as I’m still starting off and inexperienced with this (goodness knows where it will lead to) that I will just talk about the past few months and a few intentions of this site.

I had previously been living down in Kent with my Aunty, Uncle and darling little cousin, Tom, in their gorgeous little farm-like country house.

From left to right, my uncle, aunt, myself and my mum (when she came down to visit) and cousin Tom at the bottom.

I’m so very lucky that I have family over in the UK. My mum and dad still live in Zimbabwe, and my aunt and uncle have been my support system and taken me under their wings as one of their own ever since moving here!

They drove me up and settled me into my student accommodation in Manchester and boy am I looking forward to seeing them at Christmas time! (Very torn emotions about this, my heart is so sore as its the first Christmas I’ll be spending without my mum and dad, EVER EVER, and as an only child, this is such a deep feeling to try explain. At the same time, the idea of Christmas in Scotland, surrounded by the rest of my family is filling my stomach with a ball of excitement!)

The drive up, featuring all my plants on my lap.

I have a pretty lovely room, all things considered. I’m on the eight floor (the penthouse suite is what I usually tell people) have a pretty large room, now filled with plants upon plants upon plants, and get the most gorgeous natural light with a wonderful view.

I find myself hanging out the window trying to get the best angled photos half of the time.

Speaking of photos, I love them. I love trying to capture a moment, especially of people, and those people closest to me and have a hard-drive full of old footage from the previous years.

Hopefully, along with my stories and thoughts, I’ll be posting some photos up. A lot more photos up. All the photos are mine, unless stated otherwise (journalism talk coming in, we all know the legalities right?) and I hope you enjoy them and obviously feedback and positive criticism are more than welcome!

So yes. I find myself in the city of Manchester, full of buzzing nightlife, music, theatre, and a plethora of restaurants. It’s all slowly growing on me and like with anything, the more you explore, the more you will find.

Soon to be sharing more and more of the adventures and thoughts….

Sending my love, Denty x

 

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