Happy Sunday all!

I’m now a whole year older which means one thing; I really need to change my bio on lots of things to say I’m 22 not 21.

Jokes aside, having my birthday has made me reflect on the last year. I was lucky to not have a 2020 lockdown bday, but times were turbulent even then, and things have changed…. but also not changed a lot since then (yes I’m a walking talking Oxymoron).

I remember hiking in the Brecon’s with my Mum for my 21st birthday and using a bit more sanitiser than ‘normal times’ before eating our lunch. We were also being slightly cautious of other fellow hikers — feels funny to think how naïve we were back then to the year we were about to have, but also I’m so grateful we managed the trip before the first lockdown.

Even though we’ve had lockdown, this last year I’ve done a lot of growing up. I’ve graduated, completed online courses, done internships, found jobs, been writing as a freelancer and have actually come a long way in this last year. This year, partially thanks to lockdowns, I’ve learnt a lot about; how important the outdoors is to my mental health, and that it’s okay to not be okay, and also that I’m actually doing alright and I am just on my own journey.

I’ve faced a lot of job rejections which at first gave me a huge confidence knock, but I’ve built myself back up and feel as though I’m now climbing the right hurdles to get to my path.

Anyways, enough about me growing up, lets talk about my birthday!

So March 16th rolled around and thankfully I had the day off of work as I did not fancy doing a 2-10pm shift on my 22nd birthday.

I spent the first part of the morning being spoilt by my boyfriend Will, and then got ready for a hike.

My Mum and Padfoot (we only took Padfoot as Amber is getting a bit old now for long walks) picked me up and took me on a glorious hike– we used lots of hand sanitiser on this years birthday walk too.

We saw barely a soul when we walked part of the stretch of coast path between Portishead and Clevedon and we were able to listen to the birds in the hedgerows and hear the sea against the rocks below. We took a little cuppa tea and flapjack break on a pebbled beach with the intention of giving Padfoot a rest to which he denied – a recurring theme over the entirety of the walk- and instead decided to exert more energy and clamber over both of us making it slightly less peaceful.

We then walked through Walton in Gordano towards Cadbury camp whilst attempting to stand upright against the boggy ground beneath out feet and the bouncing dog demanding that we give his ball back. When we arrived (with paw marks on our thighs, and bottoms*) we were able to enjoy the glorious sunshine when we stopped for lunch. We found a spot out of the wind so we were actually just sat in t-shirts having a slice of birthday cake and out lunch (no jumpers in March is unheard of!). Totally could have had a nap in the sunshine there.

*(sorry mum for including this) We did somewhat manage to get the dog back for getting us covered in muddy paw prints…. when mum went for her wild wee behind a bush, Padfoot decided he wanted to get involved and had an accidental golden shower.

With full tummies and a marginally rested (and dried out) dog, we headed back towards home and gave into Padfoot’s demands for his ball.

After a quick shower, I then met my lovely friend Asia to watch the most gorgeous spring sunset with a glass of wine at the Portishead Seafront and enjoyed a long overdue catch up.

When I got back, Will then kindly ordered us both a takeaway pizza from The Port and we watched celebrity Bake Off which was a lovely chilled end to a peaceful but busy day.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday messages and especially to Will, my Mum, and Asia for keeping me company as I turned 22. It was a really relaxed but special day, I feel very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

And for the future? well I hope next year’s birthday hike won’t need quite so much hand sanitiser…