What I’ve Learnt in the Last Year(ish)

1. Boundaries are vital
2. I really enjoy watching football
3. Zoom can be great at cutting out social awkardness sometimes #gettothepoint
4. I can say ‘no’ (and it’s empowering)
5. Sitting still is hard
6. Never store your card details online
7. There is gluten everywhere
8. Anger is a worthwhile emotion
9. I am a safe space for others
10. If in doubt, give them a call
11. Cabbage is underrated
12. Suncream should be used in the UK
13. I shouldn’t take my sense of smell for granted
14. The housing system in the UK is messed up
15. Progress isn’t linear
16. Singing out loud with other people is the best
17. Failure is healthy and helpful
18. Staying local all weekend is so restful
19. Silence isn’t always the answer
20. Being ginger in London is fun
21. Aldi is fab for veganism
22. It’s ok for me to end a relationship
23. My French could do with some work
24. Hiring a car is easy (and fun)
25. The words I say have meaning (sometimes I might not realise for years)
26. Everyone is changing constantly
27. I love a flying a kite #allthejoy


Notes On Moving During A Pandemic

In September 2020 I moved.

House, job, city, country, community, church. Everything was uprooted as I ventured down from Glasgow to London. And all of it was set against the backdrop of one big ol’ global pandemic, numerous lockdowns, and multiple, complicated tier systems.

During the past eight months, I’ve done a lot of learning and unlearning, noting a few things I’ve learnt, pondered, noticed and understood more deeply.

Longstanding, old friendships are absolutely vital

When I moved down in September, I left my close friends and community in Glasgow. I am so grateful to those who have championed me from afar, have sent me wee cards or gifts in the post (“just because”) and have been overall 10/10 excellent friends. Moving at any time can be really tough, but having people who are reliable, fun or just a phone call/voicenote away has made such a difference.

Establishing new friendships is key to feeling rooted

I’ve realised that one of my favourite pastimes is making new pals and getting to know/laugh with/cry with other people. I know that when I start to be present with those around me, to gently prioritise the potential new friendships right in front of me or give my time towards people I do not know I start to feel more rooted and grounded. (For sure this has been harder but opportunities for relationships are everywhere – be that with new neighbours, fellow lodgers/housemates, work colleagues, church members or friends of friends. You just gotta have a look and give it a go!)

Old habits don’t die with new surroundings

There are a number of habits I thought I might shake off (lol) through a) living in a pandemic and b) living a new city. Neither of those things made a difference. I still have a tendency to burn the candle at both ends. I still have a tendency to be late for social occasions. I still stay up too late scrolling through Instagram. These are just a few of the many many many old habits that I haven’t quite sorted.

New habits do grow if prioritised

While this statement is obvious and logical, I’ve not believed in it for myself. Routine has been incredibly good for me. I’ve learnt to prioritise a few things more: morning prayer, weekly self-care evenings, monthly deep cleaning/decluttering. Living through a pandemic in a new place has provided me with both a change of scene and a space to try new rhythms. I have to say – I’m a fan of routine now (and I honestly never thought I’d be that kinda gal).

God is present in the mundane

I think I’ve often thought of God concocting a grand plan for my life. In the past I’ve been very forward-focused, vision-oriented and future-centred. Before this pandemic and move, I was often praying about the ‘next step’, asking for discernment from God on this big, unravelling, abstract picture called ‘my life’. Since moving I’ve been struck by how much God shows up in the small, mundane moments – be that a client’s chuckle over the phone, a houseplant growing new shoots or in my wee daily prayers. Life isn’t always exciting and new and vision-y. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less adventurous or fun.

So all in all – I’m grateful. Grateful to know such wonderful people. Grateful to explore new places. And grateful to see little snippets of growth in myself and others.

12 Words for 2020

A note: 2020, at times, felt like a smooshed, slightly stale, custard doughnut – it was blurry round its edges, was very sticky in the middle and yet, for me, it had some sweet moments too.

The following words sum up little pockets of my ponderings (but by no means capture the full essence of this past year):


I Find Comfort In

  1. The sound of rain on the roof as I drift off to sleep
  2. My dressing gown
  3. Lots of house plants
  4. Seeing windows full of light
  5. A warm kitchen
  6. Snoring dogs
  7. A bunch of opened letters received from friends
  8. Watching Community (my comfort blanket TV show)
  9. Piles of half-read books stacked next to my bed
  10. Stomping through scattered autumn leaves
  11. A deep conversation shared over a walk
  12. Slow morning coffee
  13. Brewery smells
  14. A piping hot shower
  15. Orange juice
  16. Painting splodges
  17. Slight mess that lingers
  18. My dad’s homemade jam
  19. Reading recipe books before bed
  20. Being listened to
  21. Cooking to classical music
  22. The prayers of others
  23. Cycling along a river
  24. A cup of tea made by someone else
  25. Jigsaws
  26. Watching bugs carry food/leaves
  27. Low level mist
  28. Streetlamps
  29. A pair of worn out shoes
  30. Baked beans on toast
  31. Picking wild brambles
  32. Slow Sunday afternoons
  33. Woodlands
  34. Peering out at the night sky from a window
  35. Wood burning stoves
  36. A dram of whisky
  37. Running in the rain
  38. Poetry spoken aloud
  39. Photographs of Scottish landscapes
  40. Writing lists like these


2020. A year to focus on breath(ing).
In and out
In and out
In and out.
I cannot breathe. A refrain for this year.
Australian wildfires.
Respiratory disease.
Systemic racism.
Each dilemma pointing out the wounds in
our globalised body.
Be it climate change.
Healthcare inequality.
Racial injustice.
Every wound runs deep.
Every breath runs shallow.


Be wilder.
Be wild.
Be full of the wild.

What does it mean to be full of wilder?
A mishmash of
negative and positive
adrenaline and anticipation.
Profoundly exhilarating
profoundly debilitating.

Looking round with eyes wide,
an uncontained sense of
Unearthing some juicy gossip,
swallowing a spicy chilli,
submerging in icy water.

It could be over
within seconds
but linger there for

Sweating of palms,
skipping of heart,
lurching of gut.
Embodied and disembodied
Being full of wilder is

Things I Like (Unashamedly)

  1. Eating lime pickle out the jar
  2. Heist films
  3. Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Breakaway’ album
  4. Piles of half-read books next to my bed
  5. Once a week hair-washing
  6. Tunnels
  7. Naming TV presenters
  8. Sriracha and tahini together
  9. Curating my Instagram stories into highlights
  10. Poetry (reading it even when I don’t ‘get’ it)
  11. Receiving letters (hint hint world)
  12. Rewatching ‘Friends’
  13. Cookies (all varieties)
  14. Drying out leaves
  15. Swimming/mulling around in water
  16. My pink high vis
  17. Laughing out loud
  18. Listening to/watching sad things
  19. Physical diaries
  20. Knitting
  21. Taking photos of shadows and light
  22. Voicenotes
  23. Turtlenecks
  24. Watering my plants (a lot)
  25. Big gold hoops
  26. Live jazz music
  27. The Tudor era
  28. Controversial topics
  29. A tote bag
  30. Watching clips of ‘This Morning’
  31. Life drawing
  32. Silent retreats
  33. ‘Home and Away’
  34. Strange theatre performances
  35. Freebies
  36. Dancing like crazy in da club/at a ceilidh
  37. Piercings
  38. Munros
  39. Skinny dipping
  40. Traipsing through puddles
  41. Scottish music
  42. Impersonating accents/others
  43. Beer
  44. Flamingos
  45. Mustard (colour and condiment)
  46. Denim
  47. Seaweed (on beach and under water)
  48. Looking out the window
  49. Yellow flowers
  50. Running in the rain
  51. Pondering
  52. Frozen grapes
  53. Salty hair
  54. Maps (even if I can’t read them very well)
  55. Cats
  56. High quality coffee
  57. Socks and sandals
  58. Asking kids how old they think I am
  59. Wasabi
  60. Messy hair
  61. Bowls, bowls and more bowls
  62. Fresh bed sheets
  63. My independence
  64. Colourful art
  65. Playing imagination games
  66. Listening to people speaking French
  67. Menstrual cups
  68. Wearing sunglasses when it’s sunny but cold
  69. Party bags
  70. Swimming in lochs
  71. Using a disposable camera (and feeling #hipster)
  72. Middle aisle in Lidl
  73. The Today Programme
  74. Brewery smells
  75. Buying miscellaneous food
  76. Dewy grass on bare feet
  77. Apple crumble for breakfast
  78. Daydreaming
  79. Liturgy
  80. Oversized coats
  81. The sound of the ocean
  82. Edelweiss
  83. Lounging in leggings
  84. Enneagram Instagram posts
  85. Stained glass
  86. Learning new things
  87. Espresso martinis over brunch
  88. Old cathedrals
  89. Memes
  90. Receiving flowers
  91. Smiling at strangers
  92. Videos of the deep ocean
  93. Back to the Future
  94. Talking aloud to myself
  95. Cereal for dinner
  96. Colourful vegetables
  97. SNL clips
  98. Dungarees
  99. Harmonies
  100. Myself (just about)

The Call to Stay Rooted

I’ve been wondering about writing something like this for a little while. I feel like there’s a growing amount of content being pushed out there into the world about living life as a twenty-something. So, I’m throwing my hat into the ring. I’m not sure if my words really add much depth or breadth to the thoughts of others but here we are.

Today I’m writing about staying rooted and the challenges that come with that.

Before I begin though I want to caveat with a few notices about myself. These are things that inform my words, providing a bit of context for where I’m at in the world:

  • I’m 24 years-young. I’ve got a whole load of learning to do which I’m becoming acutely aware of (in a good way lol).
  • I went to Glasgow University and graduated over two years’ ago. So much of the life I live is still considerably informed by that time.
  • I’m a Christian and a lot of how I understand the world is through my stumbling, ever-evolving faith. (Yet, a lot of what I say might still resonate with you, even if you’re not coming from the same faith perspective.)
  • Finally, I want to say that I am predominantly very content with my life. I don’t want the things I write or say to be misunderstood. I feel so blessed by: family, friends, my health, my job, the outdoors, the arts and much, much more.

But enough notices. On to the topic of today: staying rooted.

To give some context, when I graduated, I knew I wanted to stay in Glasgow. It’s a place where I’ve done a lot of growing up, made incredible pals and is full to the brim with creativity, activism and friendly people. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve stayed.

And in the years since graduating many close pals have left, moving to other cities (and countries), sometimes out of choice, sometimes not. For many of these friends, it’s not been easy. Settling in to new (or old) routines, rhythms and social circles is hard and I massively respect them for it!

In the middle of these changes, I’ve done a whole lot of praying, asking God for direction. Questions like: where should I be? What should I be pouring my energy into? What opportunities should I be searching for? And in the noisiness of these questions, I’ve so far not felt any sort of nudge to leave Glasgow. (But I did recently feel strongly led to move to the east end and get involved in the community here. I’m honestly not sure how long I’ll live here for but it won’t be forever I’m pretty sure.)

Right now, I feel called to stay put and this has its benefits. I know others and am known at a deep level. Places are familiar and you grow into new spaces too (I’ve loved learning more about the public transport system in Glasgow haha). There are roots here. All of these things are significant and life-giving.

But staying rooted also brings challenges. It’s only recently that I’ve found ways of clarifying and articulating what these are:

  • Firstly, gaps appear in your life from where people used to occupy them. I imagine it like a boat that gets a few holes in it. It can feel like you’re sinking a little, as though you need to put stoppers in them all.
  • Differences develop between those that you know who are left in the same city – people move in with their other halves, buy properties, get pets, make new circles of friends. (While I was at uni, the field felt fairly level but now it sometimes feels bumpy.)
  • You can feel like you’re missing out on some exciting new life you could be living somewhere else – the grass seems consistently greener. (This is especially hard when I travel a lot and get to see cool places or visit pals in their new cities.)

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I feel called to stay rooted to where I am and who I am surrounded by. This, at times, feels hard. Rootedness requires commitment. Commitment requires obedience. Obedience requires discipline and patience.

I think we are called to stay rooted and present, even if we’re unsure about how long we might stay in a place. (This can feel particularly hard being a twenty-something when everything can feel unmoored or shifting.) But I’m willing to give it a go. I’m willing to commit, to obey, to be patient with myself.

My hope is that I can match this rootedness with openness. I want both to work in tandem with one another. For, ultimately, I want to be open to living, being and changing wherever God leads me.