The Six-Month-Hiatus Digest | New Job, New City, New Lifestyle


It’s still 2018, and after a little gap, it’s time for an update on what I’ve been up to. It’s the Six-Month-Hiatus Digest!

I got a job!

…and moved from Bristol to Exeter for it.

Exeter Quayside

At the beginning of the year I decided I needed a fresh start. I had a six month plan after I graduated– to undertake paid internships in great studios to gain experience, pay my rent and look for a full time position on the side. Once December came and went and that didn’t happen, I widened my search to other cities. After all, a change of scenery shouldn’t change my goals should it? I was applying for junior designer positions from as far as Manchester to London to Plymouth– any studio that sounded like it would be a good fit for me. As luck would have it, I heard about a great agency that was super talented, witty, small and close to both my hometown (Plymouth) and my beloved Bristol. Slap bang in the middle was an exciting small design studio in Exeter, and after two interviews I was offered a junior position with the three other guys! The studio is bloomin’ lovely, small and perfectly formed. We also have our studio dog Ruby, to distract us when the moment is needed!

I’m enjoying the work, and it’s a real pleasure to design every day in such a lovely environment. I’ve been learning so much about packaging, as it’s our main area of expertise as an agency. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on a couple of visual identities that have been a fun challenge. I’ve also been taking on a lot of the social media duties.

Although I miss parts of Bristol and everyone who made it so wonderful, I am happy at this different pace of life in Exeter. The first thing that comes to mind as to why is how close the sea is. It feels much closer now and I sorely missed it when I was further away. Plymouth is only 1 hour away (as is the sea taxi from the Barbican to Cawsands!), and I can visit my family on a whim– something that was trickier before. At the same time, I’m able to hop over to Bristol in an hour too, so overall I’m in a very good position. Geographically and in myself. Stroking Ruby also helps!

Ruby the Studio Dog!

I got published!

…in the film magazine Beneficial Shock.

It’s a small article, but an article nonetheless. I’ve spoken about Lolitas before in my Weekly Digest, as it’s just an interesting topic for me. Age is fetishised by one or both parties in a usually worryingly erotic way. The problem with Lolita is the fact that the very definition comes from the mouth of a self confessed pedophile, literary Humbert Humbert of the book Lolita. He is a predator, and men who define and pursue young girlies they consider to be her, are worrying to say the least. Why? Not because fetishising age is inherently bad, but because of the power is weighed in their favour, and that’s what they’re after too. My article on the Alternative Lolita is a celebration of youth sexuality, taking examples of young female figures who have that power their sisters did not in these sorts of relationships. If you’re interested, check out the Beneficial Shock website and buy a copy 😉

I started dancing!

…and met someone in the process.

Lindyhoppin’ in Budleigh Salterton

My firsthand introduction to Lindy was a brilliant one. Myself and a work friend decided to have some drinks and catch up at a favourite bar of mine that plays live jazz each night. I like sitting at the bar and tapping my toe against the stool as they perform on that rather tiny stage. We were having a sweet time! All of a sudden, Lindyhoppers appeared seemingly out of nowhere and started dancing wildly to the music. It was the most spectacular thing I had witnessed and instantly, and I knew I wanted to learn more. We spent the rest of the evening with one dancer and part of the band, chatting and dancing about in an underground cocktail bar not too far away.

Sadly only when I left Bristol did I really get into Lindyhop, and only then did I learn that Bristol is one of the biggest swing dancing scenes outside London! Twas a shame I didn’t get into it sooner, but Exeter, Plymouth and the surrounding areas like Paignton and Torquay all have enough stuff going on to be happy!

What I love about Lindy is how joyful and goofy it is and makes me feel. I feel right at home! It’s not about a lot of hip movement per say, but more about footwork and a good pulse. Two instructors in Exeter like to say “Remember, what you’re doing isn’t wrong, it’s just your own personal styling!” which I’ve always found quite comforting. I also love the dance because of the music. It’s lead to an increased interest in jazz, and I’m always on Spotify trying to find new (old) music to dance to!

And of course, there is the other news…

I did indeed meet someone when I entered the Lindy scene! We were introduced to each other at a dance class through a mutual party, and we had a nice to-and-fro. Later in the week I bumped into him again at a social dance. We talked about 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Then, for some reason unbeknown to me– he kept asking me what I was doing the following day, “I am going to laze about on my bed all day, and watch rubbish on TV. It’s going to be fantastic” I exclaimed. Seriously, I was pretty happy with that. At that point I hadn’t had a day of doing absolutely fuck all for a while. Yet for some reason he kept on confirming that that was what I was going to do. “So just to be clear, you’re not doing anything tomorrow? Because I’m not doing anything tomorrow either” he said. It took me a ridiculous amount of time to realise he was trying to ask me out. We went for a couple of cocktails the next day and boom. We’ve been dating now for coming up to five months.

In that amount of time we’ve worked in a lot of things. I’ve met his family and he’s met both of mine. We’ve gone away together for a couple of weekends; a dance weekender in Torquay, a mini break to  the trendy bits of Shoreditch (not to mention eating out at the best steak ever at the Flat Iron there too!). Recently we went on a camping weekend with his sis and friends in Cornwall– great fun!

He’s a massive geek whose into comics, sci-fi, physics and board games. He’s also a bit of a hippie whose into yoga, buying environmentally friendly (as you can be) products, and a man whose nostrils will flare if litter is spotted in a picturesque spot. From me to you Matt, In the words of Super Hans from Peep Show ,“You’re like a chrome dildo. Solid.” 

I’ve been out and about!

…including up in this vintage aircraft from the 1960s.

I’ve been a busy bee, jetting off with Matt to places such as Torquay, Treyarnon and London, but also Bristol and Bath. I had convinced the studio that it would be a good idea for us to go up to Bristol for a design talk midweek (something I regularly did when living there), so that was pretty cool. The event was called Multiplicity where Taxi and Here Design gave talks about their agency work. Free booze ensued and a casual re-meet with a couple of old friends I spotted at the event. Pretty sweet! I found myself in Bath also for a work related project (which right now I cannot disclose). I met up with my cousin there, and we had a great time catching up with eachother’s lives.

All of this gets sadly overshadowed when I had to opportunity to go up in the air in this beauty made in the 60s. This is why you should open yourself up to new experiences and people! Without starting swing dancing, I wouldn’t have met the pilot who offered to take me up in his very own plane. Isn’t it beautiful? I felt like the ginger gal Fio Piccolo from Porco Rosso once we were up in the air! I even got to steer and navigate for a little while too. And yes, I did indeed snigger a little bit at the plane’s name too.

I’ve been taking care of myself!

…by eating healthier and jogging.

My staple salad with cajun chicken

I’ve been designing like a mother flipper at my new job, which is great don’t get be wrong, but that means I’m sitting down an awful lot during the day. I lived the sedentary life at university, but somehow having a scheduled time where I was required to be seated for 8 hours made me more keen to do something outside of those times. So beyond dancing a couple of times a week, I now try and go jogging after or before work. When I first started doing it, I got my satisfaction when I returned home very, very sweaty. It made me feel like I was doing something proactive to get me in that state I suppose, but I didn’t enjoy the actual process of getting there at all. Being knackered after kept me going for a while, until today where I actually really enjoyed my run! I actually got a bit of a high from it! Besides that, I’ve been making a shit ton of good, healthy food. I’ve dropped some poundage, and plan to lose more with healthy alternatives to my favourites and portion control. Props to r/1200isplenty for the awesome motivational posts. If you are thinking of losing, give CICO a go. It’s not a miracle cure, it’s just maths and just works. That said, we’re all different so it may not work for you– but there’s no harm in giving it ago if you’re feeling up for it.

Thanks for having an interest in what the hell I’ve been trying to do with my life for the past 6 months. Hopefully it was somewhat interesting or mildly entertaining. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a comment 😉

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