A Cornish Romance | Katy Who Travels

With its windswept coastlines, haunted pubs, distant and glowing lighthouses and penchant for attracting mysterious heroes/heroines like Ross Poldark and Mary Yellan, it’s no wonder that Cornwall has been the backdrop for many a romantic tale over the years. It even provided inspiration for a huge part of my own novel, set in a crumbling lighthouse off the coast of a fictional village that has its roots in the folklore of Cornwall as well as Scotland and Northern England.

LRM_EXPORT_20180530_131315.jpg
Exploring The Lizard

I spent a week in January, collecting inspiration and exploring this wild landscape, a less common time to visit. I’ve only ever explored in the height of summer, when the water is aquamarine and the sun beats down on the backs of the surfers and the tourists sitting outside waterside cafes. While it is famously stunning at that time of year, I am a gloomy weather person. Don’t ask me why, but I find foggy, misty, rainy and stormy days to be infinitely more inspiring for my writing and, as I am first and foremost a writer, I felt like I needed to see this gorgeous county in all of its haunted glory.

I wanted to experience Cornwall in the month of grey tides and grey skies, rough seas, rolling mists. I wanted to stand beneath the shimmering glow of a lighthouse beacon, hand-in-hand with the characters I’ve created, to see the world through their eyes.

LRM_EXPORT_20180530_131304

The Cornish landscape is intoxicating. When you’re there, walking along the exposed cliff paths, watching the gulls swooping, or scouring the shoreline for seals, when the wind blows through your hair until it’s damp and salty, when your fingertips are ruby red with the chill of the day, it completely overrides every other sensation. It forces you to be present, in the immediate moment, every problem and worry is washed away on the pebbled beaches or carried away on the wind. It is my place of refuge, even when I’m not physically there.

When I’m stressed, panicked or upset, I take myself to Cornwall in my mind. You should try it: Close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine this…you’re stood on a sea cliff but you feel no fear or danger from the height.. you know you’re safe just gazing out at the sea. Gather all your worries, your stresses, your heartaches and screw them into a ball and hold it tightly in your hands. Then, throw it to the wind. Look to the horizon and watch as the little black shapes flutter, caught by a strong gust that takes them far away. Feel that same wind rush through your hair, dampening your face with sea spray, filling your lungs with hope, calm, peace. Be still. You look out to the sea and spy a small group of seals… or are they selkies? Mermaids? They’re playing in the surf and their gleeful cries fill your heart to the brim with contagious joy. The sea is calling you and you are finally home.

Feel better?

LRM_EXPORT_20180530_131247
A sweeping wave at Lizard Point

Every time I return to the sea, I leave a part of my soul there. It holds the same fascination for me as the night sky: it’s vast and terrifying, but also calming, beautiful, mystical. The sea is a natural balm for an aching soul. Me and my soul belong amongst the waves, and Cornwall’s coast captures everything that a coastline should be. It has the perfect balance of idyll, magic, ferocity & wildness. It is both friend and foe.

LRM_EXPORT_20180530_131333
Godrevy Lighthouse. I wrote about my little lighthouse on a windswept island in my novel months before this visit to Cornwall, before I even knew Godrevy existed, but upon arriving here, it was like seeing my imagination come to life.

Cornwall always sweeps me away and I often wonder whether I’ll ever find myself living in a tiny home in a tiny village, somewhere on the coast of this beautiful place. Until then, I’ll be living in the lighthouse with my characters, finishing off my novel and dreaming about being in Cornwall once again…

Happy dreaming, friends.

cropped-discipuli-britannica-regular1.png

It’s been a while…

Hello!

I know, I know. It’s been an unforgivably long time since I stopped by to update this blog. The truth is, since I moved back from Norway in November, life has been all over the place. I graduated, I got a job in a museum, I started writing and researching for a little SME called Thryve that’s due to launch really soon, I completed NaNoWriMo but my book still needs a lot of work and I adopted a dog! This little space has been sorely neglected, mainly because of everything I just mentioned. Life has been a whirlwind, but in a wonderful way.

kt

I’ve decided I want to come back and make this space my own again. I want to write for the sheer joy of it, I want a space to share my photography and my adventures and I want to hear from you, dear reader. Let me know over on my instagram if there is anything in particular you want to see from me on here.

In the meantime, I have a few posts lined up for the next few weeks so I can catch you all up on what you’ve missed: there’s a trip to Cornwall, a foraging adventure in the Lake District and plenty of other mini adventures that I’m going to be writing about very soon. I hope to see you around here a little more often from now on!

Until next time, my darling friends

cropped-discipuli-britannica-regular1.png

Autumn Playlist | Katy Who Listens

Hello and happy Monday!

IMG_20170927_184205_436

It is now October. Isn’t that completely crazy? In my humble opinion, this is one of the best months of the year. I adore everything about October: Hallowe’en, pumpkins, colder days, frosty mornings, cosy jumpers, all of the autumn-inspired warm drinks. When I’m wrapped up in my softest blanket on a cold, October afternoon, reading books or writing, there is one thing I need to complete the cosy vibe: an Autumn playlist.

As some of you may know from following on my instagram (@katy_who), I share a song that I love with every single picture I post. I’ve been doing this since the summer, and frequently get asked if I can pull together a playlist filled with all of my favourite songs. So, I thought I’d start a series of these posts, where I create playlists for different moods and scenarios. Today, I’m providing a playlist for all of your autumnal music needs!

Without further ado, here it is: Katy Who’s Autumn Playlist! Go and grab your favourite blanket, make a huge mug of tea, plug in your headphones and enjoy.

qcbpk1506951270.png

Old Pine // Ben Howard
Don’t Let The Sun Steal You Away // Bear’s Den
Eagle Song // The Staves
Bloom // The Paper Kites
The Lament of Eustace Scrubb // The Oh Hellos
The Ghost on the Shore // Lord Huron
On Trees And Birds And Fire // I Am Oak
freeway searching // Gregory Alan Isakov
House & Farm // Boy & Bear
Flightless Bird, American Mouth // Iron & Wine
The Wolves and The Ravens // Rogue Valley
Breathe Easy // Rachel Sermanni
Old Stone // Laura Marling
Tiger Striped Sky // Roo Panes
Forest Fires // Axel Flovent
From Gold // Novo Amor
Stanley Park // Aoife O’Donovan
Circumstance // Wildwood Kin

Listen on Spotify

Let me know over on Instagram if you discover any new artists that you love, or if you fall in love with a song from this playlist; I’d love to hear what you think!

Sending an abundance of love and light,
See you same time next week!

Katy x

A Norwegian Adventure | Katy Who Travels

DJH01mQXYAAOSLVWith its endless forests, howling fjords, raging rivers and miles of open countryside, Norway has captured the hearts and minds of people all over the earth for many years. Perhaps there is something in the water that keeps us coming back, or perhaps it’s simply the pure joy that comes from experiencing a landscape that feels so prehistoric. It is incredibly easy to leave behind the busy streets and the winding roads that signify civilisation, and once you step beyond those boundaries and enter the wild and rugged natural landscape, it’s easy to imagine our ancient ancestors roaming the very land we walk upon now. As if nothing at all has changed.

My love affair with this country started years ago when, as a child of 8 or 9, I visited southern Norway in passing on a family holiday. I remember very little about that trip or the places we visited, but I do remember the sense of belonging that I’ve felt in my soul ever since. There’s something that just feels right about being here. Fast forward a few years, and my wandering feet led me to Bergen alongside one of my closest friends. On my first trip to Norway as an adult, I revisited those feelings from my childhood and fell even more in love. (..Especially when I discovered how easily accessible cinnamon buns are everywhere in the city and on a couple of the mountains surrounding it!)

18033248_1608502395829892_2460937759928169141_n.jpg

Upon leaving Bergen back in April, I knew that I didn’t just want to pass through Norway on fleeting visits, experiencing only flickers of what it has to offer. I knew that the end of my Masters degree was approaching and the great unknown abyss of a future after education was lying ahead and, quite frankly, I was ready to do just about anything that would delay thinking about nine-to-fives, rent and gas bills. So, I set about researching possible opportunities to live and work in Norway for a time, because there’s no distraction from real life quite like packing up a suitcase and running away to a new country for a couple of months! All of these events led me to where I am now: working in a hotel and living in a cabin in the mountains of Jotunheimen National Park.

As I’m typing this, I’ve been here for three and a half weeks, and have a further 5 weeks left before I travel on up to Trondheim and then back down to Oslo, when I will make my way begrudgingly back to normality. I can confess that for a time, I struggled very much to feel settled. I don’t for one minute want you to believe that I approached this situation with fearlessness: I am incredibly introverted, very shy around new people, and I’ve never been away from home longer than two and a half weeks. Settling in was hard. Within the first week, I faced strange situations, big changes, unfamiliar cultures, I met new people and I started a new job; these are all things that are so intrinsic to adventures, and yet in the face of them all, I had to admit to myself that I was genuinely terrified I’d made the wrong decision.

DKF_likX0AAWcqAIt was the nature I fell in love with all those years ago that helped me find my feet in the midst of all this fear and change. It was an endless comfort to know that, even if I felt isolated, scared, stressed or anxious, I could step outside my cabin door and walk directly into the forest. From there, I could climb mountains, walk alongside aquamarine rivers, sit on the soft moss in the dappled light of an afternoon sun and read until I felt myself again.

I’m settled now, I have a routine, I know the best walking routes and I’ve come to rely on daily excursions to the waterfalls or the nearest mountain. My soul feels lighter, somehow. I feel like my eyes shine a little more and my skin glows, I go to sleep at night with a familiar, comforting ache in my limbs that reminds me how lucky I am each day to get to experience this place, to learn it off-by-heart, to have a favourite tree to read under, a favourite mountain to climb.

dkf_t7xxkaaeizg.jpgIn my long and convoluted way, what I’m really trying to say is this: fear is inevitable, but some of the best experiences in life happen when we look fear directly in the eye and tell it “you will not stop me today”. Go out and chase those dreams, even if they’re small, or even if they’re huge and seemingly impossible. Mother Nature will always be there to welcome you into her magical, leafy arms and she will set you back on your way with a new sense of purpose and of courage. You will live out your dreams eventually. And then, in the wise words of Flynn Rider from Tangled, “you get to go find a new dream” to chase.

Happy Monday, my dearest friends. I hope this week brings you joy!

Katy x

Hello and Welcome!

c29kydbw8aeg-tm.jpg

Over the past year, as my instagram has slowly grown, the one recurring question I’ve seemed to get most often is: “Katy, do you have a blog?” and my answer has always been “no, not yet” or “maybe one day”. In truth, I’ve always been a little nervous about setting one up, as I always get the loveliest comments about my captions, and I’ve been worried about not living up to expectations when it comes to publishing larger pieces of writing.

Whilst sitting in my little Norwegian cabin where I’m living for the next two months, hiding from the driving rain outside and unable to do anything except read or write, I’ve decided the time has finally come. I am going to swallow my pride, move past my fear and commit myself to this little corner of the internet. So here I am, and here it is:
katy-who.com is now live and I will be publishing at least once a week for now.

What can you expect? Well, for one, you can expect extensions of my instagram captions, which will be imaginative thought-trains and little insights into the images and stories my brain conjures up. However, alongside this I will be including life updates, lifestyle posts, book reviews and recommendations, writing tips and updates, music suggestions and posts about the adventures I have had and the adventures I am yet to experience.

I promise there will be expeditions through haunted forests to magical literary kingdoms where the currency is imagination and the population is made up of dreamers, so take my hand and lets go and explore. Make yourself a hot mug of tea, snuggle up in your cosiest blanket and get ready to join me on my newest venture: katy-who.com.

Love & Light

discipuli-britannica.regular (1)

@katy_who