20 Things I Learnt By 20

It was my birthday yesterday, and of course this calls for a generic ‘things I’ve learnt’ kind of post. Because who doesn’t like a neat list of life lessons?! I think it goes without saying that we all learn a lot of things over a year, month or even a day, but that could form a vast and boring collection. So instead, here are twenty highlights…

Appreciating the little things is important: whether that’s the sunshine on your face in spring, the thoughtful words of a fellow blogger, or a hug at the right time – gratitude is a powerful thing.

Prioritising is difficult but necessary; multitasking doesn’t really work in most situations and it’s better to just focus intensely on one task at a time. Managing all the important aspects of your life is an ever-evolving skill.

Continue reading

Escaping to Wales: Memories from the Mountains

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that I’m currently on holiday in Wales, a place that holds many of my warm, nostalgic memories. I’m spending a week here, specifically in Crickhowell, in a cosy rented cottage surrounded by mountains and the comfort of a small-town demeanour.

I’ve always felt an affinity with Wales, perhaps because my name derives from Welsh, but probably more due to the multitude of muddy, wind-whipped memories that have become woven into the fabric of my youth. I’m very much Southern English, from my accent to my love of the South Downs, coast and London, but I’m pretty sure at least a couple of my bones are built from Brecon mud and that my character’s been whittled into shape by the wild Welsh winds.

Continue reading

Boys Toys, Girls Toys: The Blue and Pink Divide – Blogmas Day 20

“I won’t eat my ice cream unless the spoon’s blue.” a boy scowls with the ferocity of a bear in a zoo, outraged at the injustice of being locked up.

“Of course, darling.” a tired mum sighs, looking up at me, the gelato scooper, with expectation and an awaiting hand.

The week after, and most likely the week before too, a parent apologetically approaches the counter and explains, “my daughter will throw a tantrum if she can’t have her ice cream in the pink cup, I know it’s the medium size, but maybe you could just put the small amount in the pink cup? That wouldn’t be a problem, would it?”

Continue reading

Dear 2017 Me: An Open Letter – Blogmas Day 17

Dear Alys from 2017,

There are aspects, both big and small, that define our lives during any one moment; years down the line, these characteristics that shaped us can be forgotten even if they had the power to significantly change us in ways that resonate fifty years beyond the initial impact. This open letter is a collection of musings from and about you, at 19 years old, written on a cold winter night a couple of weeks away from tipping into the unknown of 2018.

Continue reading

Reflecting on Gratitude – Blogmas Day 13

Gratitude: the quality of being grateful; expressing thanks.

I recently read several articles that put forward the idea that paying attention to gratitude can have a positive impact on your wellbeing, specifically your mental health, and this is something I’m interested in looking into further. I think it’s easy to disregard ‘invisible’ practices, such as meditation, gratitude, and positive thinking, as pseudoscience or ineffective. Many people assume that as the impacts of these wellbeing activities cannot be measured quantitatively, or actively seen, such as exercise on someone’s physical health, they leave less of an imprint.

Continue reading

How I Consciously Chose Change in 2017 – Blogmas Day 12

2017 has been quite the tumultuous year, characterised I’d say by shifts: in my daily life, personal life, and ideas about the future. I guess when you take a biopsy of your situation, thoughts and feelings from any one month and compare it to one taken 11 months previous to this, you’ll notice change. Change is how progression takes place; like the leaves alternating green to yellow to orange to brown, it’s necessary for growth to occur.

Continue reading