Sunday, 2 October 2016

September: The Month That Was

Catalunya from the Air

All of a sudden, the year is three-quarters of the way through. How did that happen? The predominant theme this month has been me denying that summer is over and trying to stretch it out as much as possible. I had good reason for doing so too - my summer holidays only took place at the end of the month! Thankfully we were blessed with glorious weather and our fair share of sunshine and blue skies. I'm expecting snowmageddon this winter. 

Where I Am

I'd been burning the candle at both ends for so long that I knew something had to give and I took the unprecedented step of booking entire days off in my calendar. That meant that one day every weekend I wasn't going out, meeting up, blogging or studying and it was absolutely glorious. Every now and again, my fear of missing out kicks in and I look longingly at all the brunches, outings and adventures I'm missing and wonder if I'm making the right decisions. But I know that I am; I'll only be studying for one more year.  One more year and then I can go to all the museums, brunches and exhibitions my heart desires. For now, slowing down is doing me the world of good. 

What I Did

After a crazy August, September was definitely slower but we still got up to some mischief. A lot of it was not blogable - barbecues, family meals and intimate dinners - but some of it was. 

Lullingstone Castle

The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle

My mum and I finally returned to Lullingstone Castle to see the famous World Garden. You might remember that we went to the Medieval Weekend at Lullingstone Castle in May but that we didn’t have a chance to see everything. I can't wait to tell you all about our day and how we toured around the globe and saw samples of plants from every continent. 

We stopped off for lunch at The Plough Inn in Eynsford, one of my favourite restaurants and one that I've been visiting since I first arrived back in England in 2007. 

Brunch at The Drift Bar and the Fire Fire Exhibition

Fire Fire exhibition at Museum of London

September was all about friends, both old and new. In mid-September I met up with Vanessa, Sarah and Martha for brunch at The Drift Bar in Bishopsgate followed by a visit to the Fire Fire Exhibition at the Museum of London and desert afterwards at Pizza Express on London Wall. It was the kind of day that was full of belly laughs and great conversation and I can't wait to meet up with those ladies again soon. I know you’re all dying to know how the Fire Fire exhibition was – it is brilliant and highly recommended!

Santa Susanna and Barcelona

I was running on fumes by the time the 21st of September finally arrived but I'd survived and we were finally off on our ten day beach holiday to Santa Susanna. There was a lot of this…

Aqua Hotel Aquamarina, Santa Susanna 

… and some of this…

Santa Susanna Beach

… and it was absolutely marvellous.

It's certainly not the type of thing I can blog about but it was the most perfect, relaxing holiday I've had since we were last in Santa Susanna four years ago. The good news is that we spent a day in Barcelona and I've already got two posts scheduled about our adventures. 

What I've Been Thinking About

I've been journaling and blogging online since 2001 and I've noticed that there is always a summer slump, a time when things in the Blogosphere get rather quiet. It is inevitable because so many people travel and take time off, myself included, but it is also inevitable that the tiny doubts start to creep in. Is blogging worth it? Are my readers enjoying my posts? Should I carry on?

I've had those thoughts a lot lately but then I had a bit of an epiphany. I was composing a blog post and realised for the millionth time that my opening paragraph contained no keywords, which meant Google would not be sending readers to my blog. It was then that I realised that I'm okay with that. My blog is small and I'm never going to take it to a professional level, mainly because my absolute focus since 2010 has been on taking my career to the next level. I have massive respect for my blogging friends, for the quality of their blogs and their professional attitude but that cannot be my focus. I guess that means that no matter how quiet things might get, I'm just going to carry on writing posts that I hope my readers will like and that I enjoy writing. 

What I Blogged About

I'm quite proud of the posts I put up this month. I was still struggling with depression right up to the minute we left for Spain and so I'm glad at how I was still able to study, work, socialise and blog. Here is what I blogged about this month. 

Seaside Dining at the Lobster Shack, Whitstable

Prague: Walking Vinohrady to Old Town Square

St Paul's Bow Common: A Brutalist Masterpiece

Jacobean Splendour at Charlton House

An Anniversary Meal at the East Coast Dining Room, Whitstable

24 Hours in Tankerton, Whitstable

And over at Addicted to Media:

Saul Bass poster book: 20 Iconic Film Posters

Reviewed: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

Amnesty's Here I Stand: Stories That Speak for Freedom

New Music Friday: Mackenzie Shivers - Living In My Head EP

Reviewed: As I Descended by Robin Talley

That’s all from me for now. I’m about to crawl back into bed and hang on to the last moments of my summer holiday.

What have you been up to in September? Are you a blogger? What do you do to cope with the summertime slump?

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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