27 Sept 2017

Uni, mental health, and a break-in to *not* be saved

Bournemouth, 2014

I remember sitting at my desk with a bunch of bananas and two boxes of cereals bars, one open. I’d eaten half a bar then put it back, telling myself I’d have it for dinner later. I hadn’t stepped out of my tiny bedroom in days.

I’ve never spoken in detail about how bad my mental health was at university - especially during the first year - because I’m still learning myself just how bad it actually was. I didn’t enjoy university. That I knew and everyone knows. But fully understanding how unhealthy my thoughts and behaviours were is a long process, and quite hard to stomach. I’m open and honest about my mental health. I’m open and honest about a lot of things (I mean, I literally wrote about my GP putting her finger up my arse, so), but these thoughts and behaviours were often ridiculous and embarrassing and horrible, so I’ve never wanted others to know I was like that. 

But it’s the end of September and a lot of young people will be experiencing their first few weeks at university right now, and I feel such a sense of dread knowing there may be a lot of young people out there who might be about to experience their first year just as I did. The first few weeks at uni are such an integral time to not get ‘right’, as such, but to just fucking survive in a healthy way. Thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours in the first few weeks could set you up for the rest of your time at university. ‘Could’ being the imperative word here, because I’m learning now that nothing is ever set in stone. You can change. You’re always learning. I didn’t know that, and boy I wish I did.

14 Sept 2017


I dropped off my little cousin to her first day of work experience on Monday morning. I say ‘little’, she’s 21 next month. But I see her less than once a year and she’s absolutely, categorically still my baby cousin. She’s staying with Ryan and me this week - she lives in Birmingham and goes to uni in Edinburgh - and as soon as she was dropped off and my auntie said, “Here’s her porridge and here’s a bottle of Disaronno to say thank you,” they left and my cousin said, “This is like a movie where the child has lost its parents and is thrown to the nearest unwilling relatives,” and we laughed and I suddenly did feel like I’d adopted a small child.

1 Sept 2017

Riga, Latvia (June 2017)

House of the Blackheads

I’ll be honest, when Ryan said he wanted to go to Riga, I wondered the heck why, after tentatively asking if Riga was, indeed, the capital of Latvia. Or was it Lithuania? Or the other one?*

It was Latvia.

I didn’t know anyone who had been to Latvia. What was in Latvia? Why did he want to go to LATVIA? I’ve said Latvia too much. L a t v i a. 

Turns out that, quite obviously, Latvia has its own significant history with World War II, so of course Ryan wanted to go to Latvia. 

And so began another fun-filled weekend of history and war and museums, with a big ol’ extra dollop of communism. But, spoiler: Latvia is great. Go to Latvia. I’ll tell you why.