23 March 2015

New Chapters

I miss the old chapters. I miss having the freedom of getting up in the morning to uncover every fold and crease of the day. I miss the unrestraint of running along the beach at whatever hour I saw fit, for however long I hungered for. Truthfully I miss it all, every inch, with the entirety of my heart. But in the last few weeks I've come across a gentle reminder that re-reading those pages doesn't come close to the freedom found in writing new ones.

I can only attempt to explain what it is like to be chronically ill by sharing with you the feeling of falling behind a little more with each change of season, and watching everyone else stride so effortlessly from milestone to milestone. It's the true helplessness you feel when you know the illness is bruising the resilience of your loved ones, maybe even more than it has the strength to bruise yours; knowing you are incapable of protecting them. It's the raw powerlessness you experience while watching the dreams you had designed for yourself being remoulded at the hands of something completely fated and unavoidable.
The shadows seem to meet at either end and give my thoughts every reason to neglect the instant and break into a memory of an easier time. But what's crucial to hold close to my heart are the many blessings and things that I am truly grateful for and the hundreds of reasons, and more, to reach further and love deeper than to let my mind collapse into a pattern of distracting with ghosts in an attempt to forget to soak up and really breathe in this very minute. 
Sometimes I can feel so overwhelmed with the restriction and frustration that I don't fully appreciate that those moments of sadness are merely momentary and that they pass just as swiftly as their happy counterparts.

Perhaps what was choking me the most was a sense that with illness becoming such a huge part of my life, I would somehow have less to give. This could not be any less true. Boundaries shouldn't define what I have to offer others, they should add to my ability to be compassionate towards and to understand people's limitations and shortcomings. I can give more because I am living through something hand in hand with the largest minority in the world. That's pretty special.

It's a my new life and it's fulfilling, if soley because I still wake enamoured with the possibility of each new day. I don't know which direction this new road will follow, I don't know what it's going to look like and there's no map to foreshadow what I'm likely to find, but I'm discovering some beauty in releasing my grip from the steering wheel and embracing the not knowing. 

If you're feeling a little lost in whatever place you are in right now, know that you're not alone, however lonely you may feel. I'm with you x

11 March 2015

I found Pinterest

I can't stop pinning. In the last month, thanks to a prompt from my cousin over the phone, I have willingly become a self confessed Pinterest addict, of the highest kind. If you have missed the Pinterest wagon or like me just never got around to taking a look, I can only describe it by comparing it to a magpie's treasure trove of all things imagination and attention to itsy-bitsy detail... on everything you should ever seek inspiration for. That being said, as with everything that I love deeply, I'm going to extend and share my favourite gems from the pin-chest to my blog, but first I feel that I should let you in on the two main reasons that sparked my crush:

1. Since I'm still/currently in the process of moving house, I am in the spirit of all things changeable and new & more importantly I am pinning away in an attempt to gather together some inspiration for my new setting.

2. Given that I am a spoonie by day (& by night but, boy, do I wish I could have the evenings off!) I tend to spend near on all my time in my bedroom so I'm keen to turn it into a little haven. I can't prevent cabin fever but I think it's far more bearable to stare at four nicely decorated walls, scattered with my fondest memories and colours than the alternative; and beyond that I feel like my environment plays a huge part in allowing me to wholly unwind.
If you want to know more about the spoon theory click here.

At this point you can dive into my pin board here or carry on scrolling to read about my highlights.


Okay, so not all of us are lucky enough to have a secret garden getaway at the end of the path, but I couldn't not (double negative intended) include this one in the mix. I love that the asymmetrical aspect to the room is accentuated, almost as much as I adore the contrasting textures and the palette of delicate neutrals & naturals, which you'll probably notice is a running theme throughout the pin board, paired with such a brightening and sunny yellow. If you fancy exploring the Bird's Nest Inn (how adorable is their naming game) I've linked their blog here

Granny's take on Parisian: 

Crochet; kinda like marmite but I happen to be a fan - of crochet that is and not the icky, brown spread. There's something rustic, something soft yet the room manages to maintain such a minimal pose. I think all minimalistic room designs offer that feeling of effortless calm; you know the kind that gives you an overwhelming urge to dive straight onto the bed for a good kip or a read of a book that you haven't picked up in months. 

Country Bumpkin: 

I'll let you in on a little secret: one of my most cherished dreams for the future is to live in a quaint and quintessentially English cottage. I can imagine Adam and I bumbling around in the tiny corridors and laughing explosively each time he would bend his 6ft 2 self under the door frames. I'm big on the ability a room has to bring about feelings and this one, for me, is warm and rosy. 

If you have pinterest let me know so that I can say a 'hello' and leave a comment on this post if you fancy telling me the choice of key words would you be entering into the Pinterest search bar - shabby chic, Parisian, sixties or mod'?

P.S Apologies for my absence throughout Feb and expected patchiness in March-April also. Moving = busy times.


14 February 2015

Unconditional Love

"There's no one I'd rather be scared with than you" - Fortesa Latifi

Walking into this neither of us had any idea of the difficulties that lay ahead; there was no contract for you to sign to tie you in through the tough times, no warnings to shield, no hindsight to guide. Blindly, we dived in - head first and sure of everything. Boy, am I beyond glad that we did because we have had some really good times pre & post illness; making up the stacks of memories that I'll carry with me throughout the seasons.

When my health started to deteriorate it wasn't easy for anyone; weeks became months and we were still without an explanation. My thoughts were dominated by all the unanswered questions and it became second nature to doubt myself, but you held the kind of trust in me that renewed my confidence and stopped me from surrendering to the label of "it's in your head". In the face of an answer that wasn't so easy to swallow and knowing that this would be more of a long-term thing you didn't flinch, and remained unwavering in your positivity that we would somehow find a way through. Living amidst symptoms that changed by the day I was so thankful for that constant.

On deciding to sit down to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keypad, the one thing I realised was that these things didn't just happen to me, they happened to you too and in turn for every wound I bear, you own the scar to match. It's no secret, either, that you have missed out on a lot because of me, and my circumstances and I know that you'll brush it off with an "It's worth it", but I want you to know that that means the world to me, and I have so many dreams for you. Although in reality you are just as helpless to it all as I am, you've shared the load with every hand hold and every stupid joke that has split my sides in that 'so unfunny that it's funny' kinda way.

I'm not too proud to say that our journey has taken us through some deep and dark winter nights, but I have never been cold. We have bonded through these not so great times, and call me crazy, but I think it was the place where you made the swift transition from just a boyfriend to my best friend. It amazed me that you were still able to sweep me off of my feet whilst I spent so much of the time horizontal.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that we are bound not by illness, but by the love we share, and I think it's a pretty great achievement that we have defied the labels that could have so easily consumed us. Now I know there are few things I'm sure of, life can take a turn at any time, free of the pressures of convenience, but the one thing I can always be sure of is that whatever happens, I'll find shelter with you.

8 February 2015

Guest Post: One Piece of Advice to a Chronic Illness Sufferer

Moving house brings about a naturally busy time for anybody but coupled with chronic illness makes for quite the uncertain and worrisome situation - c'est difficile. Last week I felt an incredible surge of glum wash over me, as I reluctantly came to the realisation that I wouldn't be able to give the love and attention that I perhaps would have wanted, to my blog during the change over. Just as I was sitting down with the intention to write out a short and sweet post explaining why I would be absent in the coming weeks, I had somewhat of a lightbulb moment and decided that instead of leaving this space to gather dust throughout February, apart from a very special something on the 14th wink-wink, that I would call upon a few of my talented and generous friends to pitch in and write some guest posts to keep things ticking along.

This one is from Em; a 24 year old beauty guru in the making and fellow chronic illness sufferer who, through the lower points over the last year, became one of my closest friends and a source of endless support - aren't I lucky? Emma documents her life with chronic illness and all that she has to say about anything and everything on her blog, Emma Drusilla. I'm actually really pleased that she was happy to write a guest post as it gives me the perfect opportunity to share her new, top-notch YouTube channel which, if you haven't already, I'd definitely urge you to give it a visit and big ol' hit of that subscribe button.

Hi to all of the lovely Rachel's followers! My name is Emma, I'm 24 and I suffer from ME. Thank you to Rachel for asking me to write this guest post today.

Before I was diagnosed with ME around two years ago, I had an active and normal social life. It wasn’t unusual for me to do a day at university, go for dinner afterwards, go to the pub in the evening the next day and, on the odd occasion, take the 15 mile trip into Brighton to go clubbing until the (not so) early hours. In doing this I had no second thoughts about energy, no second thoughts about the anxiety of feeling unwell or if who I was with would understand - as most people don’t.
Then ME struck and life very quickly changed. Feeling alone and misunderstood with an invisible illness, even my GP’s didn’t seem to know what was going on - so I turned to the internet. Googling turned to forums, forums turned to blogs and blogs turned to social media. After reading the blogs of very inspirational girls online I started following them on Instagram. I never imagined that this could have turned into an outpouring of support from the ‘spoonie’ community, many followers going through the same thing and most unbelievably, friends.

It’s easy to bond with someone who has been through an experience as unique as yours. To find people who know exactly what you’re going through is one thing but what took me most by surprise was how extraordinary each one of these people are and not just because of their illness or battle with adversity but because they are caring, insightful, hilarious, ambitious and so intelligent. We all live in various locations across the country, even across the world, and would never have met or become friends under any other circumstances but I feel so privileged to know them and be part of their community. It hurts to see such incredible people be held back by their illness, I can guarentee chronic illness is not the plight of the lazy, but it’s brilliant rooting for them and sharing in their triumph and successes.

When you have a chronic illness you get all sorts of advice. Advice from your Doctor to stop worrying; advice from your family to get out and have a walk; advice from strangers to try ‘magic pills’ because the Daily Mail says so. My advice to a new sufferer is simple: get online. Not only is there a whole community there with helpful first hand advice and experience but most importantly there are amazing people you are going to want to know.What brought us together was illness but what keeps us together is friendship - that’s a great medicine. x

29 January 2015

Topshop's Answer to For Love & Lemons

Each year as Valentines Day rolls around the corner I find myself on the lookout for something a little special to slip on. I came across For Love & Lemons a few months back and have lusted over the lacey details and kitsch designs ever since. Unfortunately for me, and every other lingerie-lover on an average budget, the price tags are far from dreamy. Earlier this week I was having my usual mosey over the Topshop website when I stumbled upon a mesh, mermaid body suit and had to take a sizeable gasp of air; we had a love at first sight situation on our hands.

Blush nude, satin seashell cups, sheer mesh bodice, complete with mermaid-esque scales = add to bag. When the little beauty fell through my letterbox earlier this morning I was genuinely impressed with the quality, and although I've never been lucky enough to hold a For Love & Love and Lemons piece in my bare hands, I find the design and over all effect undoubtedly comparable.

I feel as if I've stepped out of The Little Mermaid and admittedly as I was taking the photos for this post I was humming the chorus of 'I wanna be where the people are" - now all I need is the secret to her voluminous locks. One thing to bear in mind if you fancy channelling your inner Ariel too, is that it'd probably be wise to size up. I have bee stings and found that even going one size above my usual was still rather snug around the bust.

You're welcome mermen. How are you celebrating the 14th this year?
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