A (nother) Year To Remember

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Winter Sunset in Edinburgh
Sunset in Edinburgh. I love the chimneys against the sky – you’ll find them on most houses here.

Awrite! (Scottish for ‘hi’)

As the Christmas holiday is becoming just a distant memory and everyday life taking over again it’s starting to sink in that we’ve entered year 2014. When thinking back about last year, I realise that, once again, it’s been a year of changes. I like change, which might be a reason I, since I turned 18, haven’t stayed in the same place, school or job for a long period of time. 2013 was no different.

Aye, it was a good year…

The New Year 2013 was welcomed at a friend’s friend’s NYE house party in Finsbury Park, London. At the end of January Matthew and I decided to go up to the hotel in the Scottish countryside we went to for my 30th for Burns night (25.1) – but ended up not going because of bad weather and too much snow. Instead we spent five days  with Matthew’s parents in Edinburgh, and started thinking about moving up here. We wanted to move in together and to be able to afford living in a nice, big flat – which isn’t easy in London.

London jigsaw
Bye bye London. Forgot how much I like jigsaws – will do more of these in 2014!

Two months later I handed in my notice and left my media relations job (and my amazing colleagues) in London. A month later we were on the train to Edinburgh with all our stuff. I think it took me a few weeks to understand what we had actually done, as it was quite a quick decision in the end. We stayed with Matthew’s parents for a month (thanks again!) – which made the transition a whole lot easier. Matthew found a job fairly quickly, whereas I could enjoy the freedom of being unemployed for 6 whole weeks. It gave me the time to finally start my own blog that has become a dear hobby to me. It’s also gotten me more interested in photography and made me take more photos in everyday life.

It took us both around one month to find jobs and that nice, big flat we’d been dreaming of, so on June the 1st we were able to move into our own flat in south Edinburgh. Yay! Paying only a fraction of what we would’ve been paying in London made us think we’d made the right decision.

Edinburgh castle stormy day
You can’t deny the beauty of Edinburgh. (The weather is a whole other thing.)

Matthew and I attended two weddings in Finland last summer: a friend of mine’s and my twin brother’s. Such good fun! We managed to visit Brighton by the sea as well before leaving London (where I ate a whole fish for the first time! – definitely a milestone worth mentioning.) We also took the ferry to Tallinn with my parents and spent one day in Oslo. This year I’d also like to travel to other places than Finland, but with three weddings already scheduled for this summer it looks like there will be more Finland on the menu.

Eating a whole fish in Brighton
Eating a whole fish in Brighton – don’t know why I look so scared though.

The summer went by really quickly, not a bad one at all weather wise (apparently it has been an exceptionally good year though…) I had a good friend visit from London during the Festival, which was great fun. In October I celebrated my 30th birthday (still find it hard to tell people my age) in a luxury hotel in the Scottish highlands – thank you to the bestest boyfriend <3

Monachyle Mhor Hotel Perthshire Scotland
I was spoiled rotten at this beautiful Perthshire hotel for my 30th.

In the beginning of November my little nephew Antonio arrived. After much anticipation I finally got to meet him right after Christmas when we spent a very lazy week in Finland – almost made me want to have a baby myself! (Note: almost.) We welcomed the New Year watching ‘the Hobbit’ with my parents – the first time I haven’t been at a party somewhere since I was a teenager! And so the circle closes – a whole year in a few paragraphs.

2 month year old nephew
Here he is – again. <3

It’s been a year of getting to know a new city and new people. I never really used to make a difference between Scottish and English people – but now I would never make the mistake of calling a Scot English or vice versa. Moving away from London has opened my eyes to the real UK; both in good and bad. London (at least zones 1-3 on the tube – don’t really have experience of anything else to be honest) is a city full of young, beautiful professionals in a constant hurry – after a while you start forgetting about the “real life”. I love London, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I’m only now starting to understand this country and its people. (Having a British boyfriend might have helped me to get these insights as well :)) At the same time (and the longer I live abroad) I’m starting to appreciate where I come from more and more. When I was younger I just wanted to get away from Finland and thought everywhere else was a lot better. Now I’m proud to be Finnish and appreciate that many things are really good back there – and many things are better here. I think I might do a pros and cons post about Finland vs the UK…

There’s nothing I like about mushrooms; not the earthy taste, the texture, the smell or the way they look. But I’ll try!

This year has also been a culinary year for me. Since becoming a vegetarian when I was 13 I’ve been quite a fussy eater (guess I still am to some extent), but with Matthew pushing me to try new things I’m definitely becoming less picky. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating meat, but I’m exploring the fish scene more and more. What I still need to (or wish I could) incorporate into my diet is mussels, mushrooms and coriander. It’s also been a culinary year in the sense that I’ve been to more nice restaurants than ever before, cooked a lot at home and watched a lot of Masterchef. 🙂

I’m very curious to see what 2014 has in store for me, but I have a feeling it will be a more settled down year. But who knows?!

Last but not least I want to thank everyone’s who’s taken the time to read my blog, liked it and commented on my posts. It really means a lot to me.

See ye efter! (Scottish for see you later – ‘efter’ actually means ‘after’ in Swedish)

x Nina x