Since I last blogged, I became an auntie. My niece was born in late December and she’s small and soft with a tuft of hair. Jillianne and I bought her some duck-beak slippers. As of a few days ago, she has begun to smile.

Since I last blogged, I’ve climbed two mountains. Mount Ozzard (750 metres) in Vancouver Island’s Ucluelet and Ben Bhraggie (397 metres) in the Scottish Highlands. I have also climbed the Callander Crags, but I am not sure if this counts as a mountain, but it is worth a mention at the very least. I’ve found that I really like to hike, because I imagine the feeling of reaching the top is better than any drug. Plus, lying down in leggings on the sofa upon my return to the house is really nice. Two mountains is better than none. Next up is Ben Stack (736 metres).

Since I last blogged, I’ve had several genuine near death experiences and lived to tell the tale. A most memorable one is in the North Vietnamese outback on a motorbike with Jillianne, trying to push our bike through slippy wet mud piles and ditches everywhere as our phones navigating us dropped to 1% battery and darkness fell around us. Our motorbike crashed more than once and we plummeted into the mud. We had to wash in lakes and drag our weary bodies back somehow. This is me telling the tale.

Since I last blogged, I’ve driven through the Canadian Rockie Mountains. We started in Vancouver and drove as far as Canmore/Invermere in Alberta. Then we drove all the way back to Vancouver to fly home. It took us about nine days in total, full of hotel stays and egg and cheese mcmuffins, and the occasional pee by the roadside. The sea to sky highway is as beautiful as it sounds. The type of days I will look back on when I’m old and grey.

Since I last blogged, I reached the most northern point in mainland U.K. It is a village called John O’Groats, in the north east of Scotland. There is not much there, besides a gift shop and a couple of coffee shops and the ferry to Orkney. We visited the lighthouse and the cliffs of Ducansby Head. We stared at the chopping seas spilling over stone gates. I don’t know why, but have always felt a sense of safety and comfort the further north I go. Maybe I feel like no one will find me or know who I am in these tiny villages. This trip set it in stone. I am so excited to continue to explore every nook and cranny of Scotland. 

Since I last blogged, I’ve hugged trees reaching 800 years old. A douglas fir tree in British Columbia called ‘the Big Tree’. It was thick and wide. It made me feel very special to be standing underneath it, a mere human by a magnificent tree. The greatest of companions.

Since I last blogged, I watched my sister get married to the love of her life. Watching her cry as she walked down the aisle in a place very close to our hearts is a moment I will never forget. She was the prettiest bride. 

Since I last blogged, I watched my brother get married to the love of his life. His speech was excellent, and I still believe there is no one braver, or funnier, than my big brother Tommy. Also, he was the coolest groom around in his flat cap. 

Since I last blogged, I’ve spent Christmas and New Year (Hogmanay) with dear family, including my girlfriend Jillianne, for the first year of many happy years. We had a great time in Leicester with some of my family and Dornoch with some of Jillianne’s family and we are so excited to start our own traditions one day. 

Since I last blogged, I have tried and loved, veggie haggis. 

Since I last blogged, I have been rejected for every writing job I have applied for (in Glasgow).

Since I last blogged, I got a job as a swimming teacher and I currently teach kids around Glasgow city. My greatest achievement at the job so far has been teaching adult and baby swimming classes, which I was terrified to do. 

Since I last blogged, I have visited spectacular waterfalls, including Cao Bang in Vietnam, on the border of China. The Falls of Shin, in the highlands, where fish are known to make a huge leap eight times their body length. The Big Burn waterfall, which I showered in, with my coat still on. And more recently Bracklinn Falls in Callander, Loch Lomond. Afterwards, we hiked and picnicked on top of the Callander Crags by a cairn for Queen Victoria and it was pure stunning. 

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Since I last blogged, I have had an MRI scan. Pretty cool and pretty scary in equal measure. If you haven’t had one, it’s very loud and it sort of feels like a club in Berlin playing bad grime and there is no escape. On a positive note, there is no inflammation at all in my brain! 

Since I last blogged, I’ve watched some heartbreakingly good TV shows and films. Greys Anatomy, ofc. Good Will Hunting. And if you haven’t seen Killing Eve, I beg you to watch it before season 2 spoilers start leaking!

Since I last blogged, I set up my own poetry Instagram account (@sghpoetry) and bought my official website domain name (sghpoetry.co.uk), promoting my creative work. I hope to publish my own poetry book in the next year, which will pretty much be the best thing I have ever done. 

Since I last blogged, Jillianne and I have moved in together in our lovely wee flat in the Southside of Glasgow. We have been here for three months now, slowly decorating it with candles and blankets and making it our own. So far, we have already hosted several dinner parties, with lots more to come! 

Sometimes, I still cling to the hope that one day everything will fall into place. But right now I don’t need it to. Right now I am so content and warm in love. I want time to go by slowly, so I can savour each 9am morning when I am filled with so much excitement at what might happen today. Special thanks, as always, to Jillianne for whom 90% of these things were done by her side.

© Sophie Grace Hollis 2019. All rights reserved.

 

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