The week where things got sketchy

Tea and tattoos

In more ways than one, dear readers. Pop the kettle on, this might take a while. If you follow me on social media you'll maybe know that I am currently down in London for 3 weeks, doing a technical drawing course at the London Film School. Coming to live and study in London maybe isn't an ideal thing to do at 6 months pregnant (commuting on the tube, living away from home, and the extra £££ it costs for essentially a working 'holiday' down here) But determined Ayden is determined to say the least... and with the clock ticking before baby D arrives in March, it was a now or never moment when I booked up a few months ago.

Sketch pink room

Basically, I have a massive gap in my learning when it comes to working in the Art Department for tv and film. A technical drawing (aka hand drafting) sized gap to be precise. I studied theatre at uni so it's just been one of these things which have slipped through my fingers, while also being something time consuming I've not been able to learn on the job. So in order for me to keep progressing up the career ladder, and become a fully fledged Art Director, I knew this was something I'd need to address at some point in time. 'What better time than three months before the arrival of my first child!' you hear me cry. Haha. Honestly though, if I didn't laugh I would bloody cry. There are no courses in Scotland which cater for film and tv specific technical drawing, so I always knew a trip to London would be on the cards. We are very fortunate up north to have the opportunity to apply for funding via Creative Scotland, and that's exactly what I did back in June before I was pregnant. 

Sketch food

Lots of paperwork and personal statements later, myself and my colleague Chloe were both awarded funding to pay for the Technical Drawing Course for Film & Television at London Film School. The course costs a whopping £2,250 for 3 weeks, and I can not tell you how overwhelmed and grateful I was that Creative Scotland approved my application and have supported me financially in what is a truly essential move for me career wise. Never mind adding strings to my bow - the skillset I will acquire from doing this course is literally the whole bloody bow. With the course paid for, I just needed to fund the travel and accommodation myself (god bless air b&b and cheap train tickets!) So why am I complaining? I'm not complaining... you can sense it coming though, right? I thought this short trip would be a breeze. And after only 3 days in the big smoke, reality hit me like a tonne of bricks and I realised, it's not ok. I'm not ok.

Sketch Afternoon Tea

The biggest struggle for me in pregnancy so far has been the frustration which comes with not being able to do all the things I'm used to doing, at the same speed, with the same motivation - physically and mentally. I'm a pretty adaptable person, I spent a month in Shetland during summer and while I missed home and the boys, it never really felt like a struggle. After 3 days in London, however, I completely broke down. Despite my air b&b hosts being lovely, the course being fantastic, and having a group of friendly faces down here to meet for dinner and shopping etc, a black cloud descended upon me and once the tears started, they just wouldn't stop.

Festive afternoon tea

I don't really know how to describe how I feel, apart from every bone in my body absolutely aching to be at home with Pete. It's like my very deepest and most natural instincts have an internal homing device and there's a constant alarm going off that myself and this baby should be nesting, in our own home, with family and friends withing reaching distance. I've never felt such overwhelming emotions or a homesickness like it. I also had an absolute stinker of a cold my first week down here, so feeling unwell definitely didn't help matters. I took a day off last thursday to clear my head and catch up on sleep, and by the weekend I was feeling a bit more positive.

Afternoon Tea

Why am I littering this emotional post with pictures of tea and cake? Haha well on Saturday I met up with my lovely friend Olivia and we had a girly day of shopping and wandering around London, with the most delicious afternoon tea at Sketch (somewhere I have been wanting to visit for absolutely ages!)  It was downright delicious, with decor to die for, and I waddled back to my accommodation on saturday night feeling quite tired and content.

Sketch London piano

Waking up on Sunday morning, the tables had turned again and I felt right back at square one, feeling even more upset than I had done during the week. A lot of the tears were out of frustration too. I was frustrated at my lack of ability to adapt, to settle, into a place which would only be my situation for a very short period of time. One side of me was shouting for fuck sake Ayden, man up. The other side was screaming at me ABORT MISSION, time to go home babes! After hours of deliberating (what a chill way to spend a sunday, lollll) I decided to make the best compromise I could, by booking flights home for next weekend. £150 on a return ticket, which precious pennies lay in a pot I don't want to touch before the baby gets here. But it's a small price to pay for my sanity. A quick visit home before the 3rd and final week at film school. No way could I drop out of a course which is so valuable to me career wise (not to mention valuable financially too) which I would ultimately never get the chance to do again, 1 without funding, and 2 once the baby is here - I ain't exactly gonna be able to take a jolly down to London this time next year when the course runs again.

Sketch London entrance

I haven't written this post to be all 'woe is me', I genuinely just feel better getting it off my chest, and saying to myself and to all of you that it's ok not to be ok. Pregnancy is changing me as a person on a daily basis, physically and mentally, and I have to admit I was a fool to think I could do all the things I would usually do without even batting an eyelid. Admitting defeat is ironically quite a liberating feeling, despite being something I am not comfortable with and would normally beat myself up about until the cows came home. My life is changing, I'm changing, and rather than fighting it I am going to try my hardest to be kind to myself. I've always found it quite a hard battle being torn between doing what I want to do and what I feel like I 'should' be doing. Especially for other people, before even thinking about myself. I've decided I won't be doing any gift guides on the blog this year, which I feel disappointed about but in all honestly I just don't feel up to it. My blog posts in general will be a bit slower, my replies to emails and messages will be slower, but I promise you I'm still here. I just have to take things at my own pace from now on, and what's happened to my wee noggin while in London has really cemented that for me. If I could get a motto tattooed on me right now it would definitely say 'Sorry for being a bit shit - I'm doing the best I can!' And our best is really all we can do ♥ All the while, continuing to grow a tiny human... If I don't cut myself a bit of slack right now, I don't know when I ever will.


  1. Oh, babe. I'm reading the last paragraph of this post and going: admit defeat? This reads, to me, like the exact opposite. You could have chucked in this course at any time and nobody would have thought any less of you, six months pregnant and at one of the most stressful times of the year. And yet, here you are, getting on with it and being a bloody inspiration as usual.

    Enjoy your weekend at home with Pete and your fur-fam, then one more week. You have GOT this.


  2. I didn't read this post thinking woe is me at all, in fact I think you're pretty darn couragios (I cannot spell...) to be doing all of this whilst pregnant! Have you been home yet? I'm guessing it has (or will be) a very welcome break, and then you've only got one week to go and that's such an achievement.

    On another note, is Sketch worth the dollar? xx