Lifestyle: A Working Week in Manchester and Coping with Life

I love it when I look at my blog schedule and notice that I have a completely free planner ahead. My to-do lists have been smashed this week, which is a real rare occasion for me. Today, I can just sit down and think ‘what do I really want to talk about today?’, like, what do I really just want to get off my chest and write about this Saturday afternoon?

So I guess I’m due to write (or rant) about a life update. Like, what have I been up to recently. After all, the blog is aptly named ‘What Emma Did’, and sometimes I forget this focus and don’t always touch on what I’ve actually done.

I’ve been a little all over the place lately. I’d say I’m in a good place, but also a little stressed out, tired, mentally confused and have probably been a little AWOL with life outside my bubble. I’ve been completely bogged down with being a super busy journalist over the past few weeks, which is great of course because I love writing, but it’s meant long hours, lots of drives to Manchester, train journeys, experiencing Manchester’s expensive car parking and grabbing fancy lunches and coffee-to-go like I’m a millionaire.

I thought that when I focused more of my time on being a real-life lifestyle journalist in Manchester, producing breaking news and lifestyle features for news sites, I’d have much more time for ‘me’. More time for meetings with brands, more time for coffee catch ups with potential What Emma Did followers who want to work together, more time for blog photography and filming.

The reality? Less time than ever before. Which for anxiety, is not so great.

It’s normal for me to discuss the negatives and the more ‘down’ times when people ask me how my month has gone. I always feel uncomfortable saying “Oh yes everything’s great, I’m smashing it with my business, works going great, I’m doing this and I’m doing that and I’ve got this and I’m getting that’. I’ve always been like that – it’s almost like I feel awkward and weird gushing about my life and the positives.

So it’s the same when I start typing a blog post. I always feel much more relatable talking about the things that have gone wrong, or made me feel sad or angry, and the down moments.

Don’t get me wrong: I bloody love my job and my life. I was born to be a writer and live in the social media world – content is something I could never give up. I could – and currently do – produce content 24/7. But man, when is it ever going to give me a life?! When will I ever be able to switch off at night?

Will I ever have free time during the evenings without worrying about an article that needs to go live on my blog or one of the news sites, or social media. Or feel guilty that I haven’t created any engaging social posts, or checked my emails, or replied to anyone commenting or asking for advice.

Anyway. That’s my current worries, brought on more so because last week I missed a super important once-in-a-lifetime meeting with my blog that I have prayed for for a long time. I was literally chained to my desk at work with deadlines and even though I had worked a 10 hour day, I felt I couldn’t leave. I also had a chance to be a presenter for a video with the Evening Standard Newspaper which again had to be refused due to work commitments.

Will there ever be such thing as work life balance with me?…

Anyway, now I’ve got my thoughts and worries out of my head, I can now go onto a snapshot of what my busy weeks look like. So, the past month has mainly been a whirlwind of lots of wonderful things: journalism (of course), blogging (even more of an ‘of course’), filming social media videos, working on YouTube, reviewing various new launches, attending launch events and brand events, live social media, lunches, dinners, drinks…

It’s hardly horrendous. In fact, I get so many of you guys out there messaging me on social media, along with my friends and family, saying things like ‘do you get paid to try out cocktails and eat pizza?’. My answer: Darlings, I wish. But when they say nothing in this world is a freebie, they mean it.

I then have to go home and social media the hell out of my cocktail class or restaurant launch along with editing images and video clips, review it, publish it, push it on social.

And usually with a 2 hour turnaround. There’s my early night out of the window.

But I do really really love it. It is brilliant and I’m extremely lucky to have these opportunities. I can cope with the bags under my eyes and the 15 hour days for the time being. I mean, take a look at a recent project I’ve been working on: the launch of Porky Pigs Carvery Cafe in Manchester.

Why has no one launched one of these earlier? It’s bloody fantastic. So these guys at Porky Pigs used to be famous for their appearance at Manchester’s Christmas Markets. They would set up camp near Selfridges, and offer ginormous yorkshire puddings packed with stuffing, apple sauce, gravy, veggies and a range of different meats. So that’s your pork, chicken, lamb, beef, gammon…

They then wrap it up, toast it in one of those pannini style toasting machines, and voila – the ultimate carvery in a wrap.

They are incredible. Seriously. The pork and gammon stuffed with apple sauce and stuffing and laced with gravy, green beans and carrots is a real indulgent delight. Literally fantastic.

But don’t worry if you’re not huge on meat – I also experienced the halloumi fries and spiralised fried potatoes, not to mention the crepes stuffed with banana and nutella. Is it any surprise I’ve put on a few pounds lately?

This Porky Pigs place is a real gem, they are literally like no other in the city. They have a pretty little dine in area to upstairs, making use of their space and turning it into a dine-in eatery as well as a take out.

They also do fantastic breakfast wraps with pretty much everything stuffed in. And the best bit? They are way affordable!

The monster Yorkshire Pudding wraps are insanely huge with all the best quality ingredients, and cost £4.50. You won’t be eating for hours after, I promise you. If you want the Porkys Special, and have all 4 meats crammed into the yorkshire pudding it costs you £5. Just £5 for those quality meats.

It’s seriously like a Sunday Roast in a wrap.

I felt lucky to be able to have a first look at Porky’s, as they don’t open until Monday. Everyone was literally banging on the door to get in, and they weren’t yet open. So the amount of interest these guys have already is unreal.

Next week see’s lots and lots of new restaurant openings and new menu launches, so again it’s a busy week for working in the evenings, but gives me a lot of fab places to see.

I’m also pretty ahead with my What Emma Did schedules, so I should hopefully be able to squeeze in filming a new YouTube video. Well see!

Another crazy activity I took part in with my reporting last week was oyster tasting at The Patron – a super classy bar and restaurant in the Northern Quarter. It kinda reminds me of The Refuge inside – really clean, modern and sophisticated, but still keeps in with the raw, quirky touches the Northern Quarter hosts.

All for the good name of social media, I took part in some Oyster tasting although I actually detest them. But not too bad when washed down with an alcoholic drink though…

So there you go, a little life/work/everything update crammed into one blog post.

I’m still not getting any closer to feeling less anxious, less stressed, or less busy. In fact, everything has possibly doubled. But perhaps it’s just been a little bit of a change, and things will settle down soon.

Either way, lets crack on with the new week and see how it goes!

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