When I reached 100,000 readers, I threw a party. There was a moment, during the celebrations, when I was on the dance floor; the Kaiser Chiefs – Mr Brightside was playing, and I was surrounded by my best-friends… I remember standing, arms outstretched, eyes closed, and taking in that moment. Letting it sink into my soul. And to this day (two years later), it remains THE greatest night of my life.

It taught me that being in the moment aka mindfulness, could be safe. I could allow myself to be in a moment and stay safe at the same time. The only drawback with learning this, has been that sometimes when I’ve visited different places and experienced new things with others, I’ve kept vivid memories. I can remember particular moments. Specific occasions.

It’s meant that once a memory has become tainted in some way, the only way to get through it is by replacing it with a new one. A better one. And by tainted, I mean that if I fall out with a friend that I did an activity with. Or went somewhere with an ex-boyfriend. Or ran away to a city and overdosed…
 Today (May 6th 2018) my Mum and I went to the NationalTrust site: Seaton Deleval Hall in Northumberland and afterwards, I took her to a bay in Seaton Sluice where I’d been with my ex-fiancĂ© before. He and I had discovered the path and wandered down onto this small bay of a beach and we took photos for my first collaboration with Oliver Bonas. I allowed myself to make it memorable. And now we’ve split up… and since we were going to be in the area… I took my Mum down to the bay (Collywell Bay, it was called) and we – well, I – went rock pooling and talked and laughed. And it replaced the memory of me making another memory with the man I loved.

So, quick bit about Deleval Hall since that’s where the photos in the post are from!

I’ve always thought ‘wow’ when I’ve passed it in a car from the main road and you see this huge, posh driveway and the Hall sitting at the bottom, all majestic. But despite living only fifteen minutes away, I’ve never actually visited the historic National Trust site. Not only is the entrance a ‘wow’ moment, but also are most of the rooms in the Hall – even the haunted basement! (I say haunted because whenever I tried to take a photo down there, despite it appearing normal on the display, it would come out bright white and my camera would crash down for a few minutes!) So, if you live in Northumberland, or ever visit the area, I’d really recommend that you visit the site!

Back to making new memories – I do think it’s important to find a balance between recognising the need to make new memories and avoiding memories that you could learn from. But how many things are there in life where you need to find a balance that you can only find by getting the balance wrong?!

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