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discostitches

Life

Fuck. This. Sorry! I mean butterflies.

26th December 2019

 

Christmas is tricky. I’ve found it hard for me since I was a child and my parents split up, it all of a sudden was a dislocating horribly alien timestamp every year in the calendar. I remember the first year they’d split up my mum said dad could come over in the morning. There was so much crying and misery at how much everything was entirely fucked up it didn’t happen again. He had got better presents than her I think, on reflection she had no proper job and no money so that’s really no wonder, nevermind the chaotic backstory. Anyway it didn’t happen again and we ended up shifting between family friends and our grandparents on the day in the future. It never felt properly very Christmas-sy again for a long time, no special place mats, an underlying sadness, everything took so much longer on the day, it lost its bright, stifling almost. I can’t even get into the bits in between that and now, but it had for a period suddenly felt more, more substantial and happy, like I was a part of something. Now it’s the same, but a different decade.

The first Christmas I spent as a single parent I remember the drains outside in the back garden blocked (no surprise, like fucking clockwork I noticed they had blocked again yesterday) a big van pulled up on Christmas Eve while my cousin and I wrapped the stocking gifts at the Christmas table. The children and I went to really close family friends on Christmas day for the dinner. It was ok. The food was fantastic and the company was fun up until my friends elderly mother said some incredibly kind words  during a quiet moment while we sat alone in the kitchen and I literally felt like I’d been punched and winded and just wanted to burst into tears.

The second time the drains blocked this year, I’ve just remembered, the man that sorted them out and then asked what ended up being the wrong question shook my hand and said ‘all the best to you, you’re having a shit year’ (2019 has been all sorts of fucked up. again)

God I could keep going about how 2018’s Christmas compared to this (an entire Christmas dinner purchased to heat up from M&S for me and the kids) and this year: I actually cooked! It felt like real progress (I love cooking usually but it’s ALOT on your own. This year, I was in bed by 8.30pm)

Before dinner yesterday, Ruby and I walked the dog, I’d done her hair and been caught breathless by the colour of it in the light. We were surrounded by robins singing the entire time we walked. I place probably more than usual significance in this. Then we saw a butterfly. I looked up the symbolism of course when I got back. It was fairly general but encouraging. At one point a robin came so close to us while sitting on a tree stump and sang so loudly Ruby turned to me and said ‘I think that is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen’.

Last night George hauled his new bean bag up to my room and nested in it to sleep. He fell off numerous times and rearranged himself. He was happy. I was happy.

Today was flat. I had expectations it would be. I had places I had been invited to. I just couldn’t quite shift the knowing that when the children left the house to have their ‘second christmas’ I didn’t want to be around any other people when my energy felt like this. It’s loneliness of course. Of a very particular kind, intertwined both with grief and knowing what was, but you don’t want to be with anyone else, so it’s loneliness of a despairing self defeating kind.

After they left I ran a bath (after picking my way over the paint on the stairs that is falling from the ceiling because THERE’S ANOTHER FUCKING LEAK). I fell into a deep and ready asleep after that and then woke to hunger. For the last 30 minutes of semi awake I was imagining what I would eat from the fridge. I ended up having a great plateful of leftovers and fed some to the dog. I looked over the plants downstairs and read a little of my book. I have things I want to make, a course I am in the middle of, I’ve got stuff I had planned on doing, but I honestly couldn’t concentrate on words or process. I can’t explain it, it’s not simply a lack of motivation, it’s a displacement of self. I made a hot water bottle and got into bed and slept again. I woke up to George calling me, except he wasn’t there, I had imagined it. I knew I had to take the dog out for a stretch and pulled on my thickest coat and walked to the park at dusk, the sky was honestly cerulean blue, the clock in the park lit up. I saw families through the window eating by candlelight, great swathes of recycling in the bins, I saw a mother and her two children walking back from the park in christmas onesies and coats, I saw a light fitting in a lounge that was the same as my grandparents had in their dining room at Oakdene. I saw a dog with a lit up collar and a child with light on his scooter zip around the tennis courts. I slipped in the waterlogged mud and thought about other boxing days walks I had taken and who with. I thought about all the people we had lit individual candles for at the dinner table yesterday who aren’t with us anymore.

On my way to the co-op I bumped into the same family I am incredibly good friends with who hosted that first year who were honestly delighted to see me and the dog. I was invited over. I hadn’t even brushed my hair, it was pulled up, I had on no makeup, wearing pyjamas under my  coat. I said this and they looked at me like I was nuts, ‘anyway you come would be great’ I was reassured, ‘we’ll take the dog, see you in 5’. I quickly popped into the shop, to see one of the cashiers who’d once asked me how I was and then when I’d come back with ‘honestly?’ replied ‘yes, honestly’ and I’d said ‘really fucking shit my entire life has hit the fucking skids.’ He nodded at me, probably wondering how life could still be a car crash and how I could still look so bad. I sat at their kitchen table again and had a small glass of red. I told them about the robin. And my friend’s husband said ‘that’s like out of the secret garden… the robin out of the secret garden,’ and I remembered, that was my nana’s favourite book.

 

Life

Sunday

22nd December 2019

Picture of crochet

 

Sunday’s when the children aren’t home and I am, are harder than Sunday’s where I am out of the house, out of Brighton. They’ve got better but they have been incredibly hard to get used to. This morning hasn’t been ideal, I heard the dog’s whining at just gone 3am. He is the quietest dog usually but he needed to tell me something and he was insistent. To be woken to the sound of canine panic that reaches my ears from two floors away mainly means one of two things, sick or shit. Previous experience has taught me swiftness is the safest option and minimises damage so I HONESTLY jumped out of bed like my life depended on it and ran down the stairs. Yesterday I found the paper packet of a slab of butter next to the dog on his bed. He’d basically eaten over 200g of it and was lying looking pretty contrite, fairly aware he had probably made a mistake. It’s taken 24 hours to reach a full realisation of just how bad it would make him feel. I got him outside in time to hear the most horrendous yakking as he threw up in the garden. When he got back in and I got back into bed I ended up having the most unsettling, angry dreams, that were their own other thing.

Hours later George walked into my room complaining of growing pains and coughing until he was almost sick as well. I had to half heartedly massage his legs until I got left alone and fell back asleep. The next thing I knew it was five to ten and they would be leaving to go to their dads. That was a frenzied rush and within a very brief moment of time it was just me knocking around the house. Again. I hate it, it’s loaded with meaning and it feels hugely unfair that weekends are now so thoroughly fucked up.

Trying to retrieve something positive from the free time I’ve decided to try for 2 hour 40 minutes of study (sounds arbitrary as a timeframe – sure I’ve read it somewhere this week??)  and after making a coffee and a slice of toast sat down at the kitchen table, set a timer and began typing code. I feel like throwing myself into learning to distract myself and consistently working for the same length of time in the holidays is the smartest thing I can do both for my sanity and for my progression. It’s not easy to concentrate when you are tired though. Fifteen minutes in I heard a strange yet familiar noise, the sound of pressure building up, almost mechanical, I cocked my head to one side, was it the underfloor heating? the boiler? And then the penny dropped and I realised it’s the bloody dog about to throw up again. Running into the lounge to a bright pool of yellow vomit next to the xbox I kind of chased him out of the room. He threw up another two times en route to the garden. Rug cleaned, floor cleaned I sat down again to learn about stack traces and scope, I’m so tired I don’t think anything can have possibly gone in.

This weekend I finished reading ‘The 5am club” by Robin Sharma. Possibly the worst writing I have ever read in my life. There is a reference to an inspirational quote from some notable person on pretty much EVERY PAGE. I love an inspirational quote but a crappy storyline and crappy prose don’t elevate them. I think it’s been written like this so it’s acts as an inspirational parable but truly it is absolute dross. Hal Elrod’s the miracle morning is much better. I want to start getting up early again. I was getting up early a couple of years ago until it genuinely felt impossible but I used to get such a lot done. Sunrise runs at the beach! learning and refining! Feeling like I was making progress. Then everything fell to complete shit and all I wanted to do was sleep.  This break is my time to reclaim that practice, today wasn’t the morning for it clearly but hopefully I’ll get back my fitness and clarity if I begin again.

Apart from that the plan is to get the house into some sort of order in time to relax over the Christmas festivities. The house is always a mess at the moment despite some serious decluttering. I’m going to listen to a bit more of “Have you heard George’s podcast” while wrapping the kids presents, I thought about going into town and dropping into the gym but I think town will be horrific the last weekend before Christmas so I’m. not. doing. it!

 

Life

Why I didn’t blog really

18th December 2019

I started blogging when there was flickr and blogger and designsponge was around but no pinterest. I was lonely and I was undefined as a mum in 2010. I was in my twenties, SO NO FUCKING WONDER. To be honest I felt like a bit of a reduced version of myself… mired (though so grateful) in the repetitive and thankless tasks of caring for my lovely babies while everyone else seemed to be establishing their careers or getting on it and having a different kind of fun. I had no family close to me, friends were a bit flaky and my partner worked shifts in a shop that took him an hour to get to with an erratic shift pattern. I was INCREDIBLY lucky and I lived in London but I really did feel slightly (VERY) isolated.

To take any photos for that blog I would take a photo on a camera handset plug it into the usb, wait BLOODY AGES for it to upload, try and sort it to acceptable levels in an online picture editor and write. I’d just learnt to crochet. My work was not great. I just tried to do a bit everyday. I know some of you genuinely remember that. And I’m what some people I hear on podcasts refer to as a sharer but interestingly as most people admit, a fairly introverted sharer. In any case I was bored. I wanted to sort of write a diary, to remember all these seemingly inconsequential bits of my life and I wanted to learn more about the internet. You can read some of that blog here, because for whatever reason they still have it up even though I don’t pay for it.

Anyway I’ve had this domain since I don’t know…. 2015/2016 when I switched my instagram from amysinsta to discostitches. At a loss of anything I was going to be able to do alongside to small people I could maybe make some money from crochet? HA! What could I call myself after no more disco? Hannah my sister came up with disco stitches.

What’s prompted this post is my yearly reminder I am and have been paying out for the hosting etc…. FOR YEARS and that I’m not using it – this has happened for a variety of reasons and I will note some of them here though I’m sure it will not be exhaustive. I’ve just had the longest day at work and I met up with my aunt, my dad’s sister at lunch and that brought on a slew realisation of why I go silent. Big things, important things lie in the background that are horrible memories, unsavoury and unfair and they have to stay under the hood, to the point where it feels safer to do and say nothing.

Back to the blog and why I haven’t: reasons I can think of are as follows :-

  • NO TIME OR ENERGY (this year alone) – two kids, one dog (that’s also had cancer this year), two family members dying in 2019, a household of perpetually broken shit (on the fucking daily – probably to teach my spirit (obvs) not to base my corporeal life in the material) , full time work, commute, trying to see people I love in my spare time (which is fucking limited let’s face it) FUCKING BASE LEVEL HOUSEWORK (and to be fair there’s also nearly 100 plants under this roof at the moment) I feel fundamentally broken alot of the time. I often feel incredibly lonely in the place I used to call home.

 

  • Having a colleague at work tell me they’d read my blog. OK, note to self. Strong no to putting anything out there anymore.

 

  • Genuinely feeling fairly humiliated given the last almost three years I’ve lived. So that’ll come down to MASS RETICENCE.

 

  • A TOTAL CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE which I probably didn’t have to start with. There is no point in going into the whys and wherefores.

 

  • WHAT IF I GOT MISINTERPRETED.

 

  • I’ve wasted a fuck ton of potential blog time in 2019 on instagram.

 

  • Huge concern over any idea this could be a vanity project when I’m still picking up the pieces of my life and patching it up, there’s a tory government and the planet is basically on fire, my spare time has been spent doing laundry, fixing cupboards, meeting the emotional needs of two small people who have not been happy and so much flooding in this place we’ve called home. What point do these online things serve? Who are they for? It is: C.o.m.p.l.ex – but it also feels better than instagram…..

 

 

Life

Luck

29th September 2019

Picture of four leaf clover

 

Right. I hadn’t found a four leaf clover EVER in my life until a couple of years ago, they were a rarity, almost the stuff of fiction. Then my life hit the arguable skids for a relative period of time (also termed by some as ‘the start of my new life’ – God so annoying) and I keep finding them ALL THE TIME. It’s got to the stage where I can give them away and KNOW I will find another. I reckon I’ve found well over 20 in the last two years. Twenty!

Take for example Friday, my work friend Tom, who I rate and was leaving to start work in London, he got a flat four leaf I’d pressed in the back of my phone case and phone to keep as a talisman. Good luck Tom! Here we are today… Sunday on the way to the train station and see above, I’ve got another.

Initially it was when I was running in the downs, I’d catch sight of one out of the corner of my eye and it would feel life affirming. Like something was trying to let me know everything would be ok.

Then I found bloody loads one day at the top of Blaker’s park. Almost felt like a massive joke because life did not feel like it was going very well.

I have a friend who said he didn’t actually believe mutant clovers mean the same for me as they do for other people.

Today I found that clover above, storied it smugly, bought TWO SETS of train tickets to London at the station moments later, left them in the machine and someone took them.

Then I had to buy some more.

What even is luck.

 

 

 

Plants

A week of many beautiful things

28th September 2019

Things that came to light this week:

:: looked at my iphoto and it’s a year ago this week I bought 3 VERY EXPENSIVE bees wax covered fabric alternatives to clingfilm from lakeland. I’d just like to clarify – we have none of them left, I say this not to dissuade you from buying – they were for the kids packed lunch sandwiches -but just to let you know they gave no shits. Through no fault of my own and very much down to the disposable and uncaring standpoint of my own progeny – they’re in landfill somewhere. I smile, but beneath that smile is a lake of fury.

:: This week last year I booked a place on the 50k Weald Challenge for 2019. I didn’t end up doing it. Obviously way too optimistic. I remember the day it came up, I was in bed feeling sorry for myself –  Endurance/fitness wise, this year – not happening. That can’t happen again. I need my strong back and I’ve missed it enormously.

:: I turned 38. In honesty I have thought I was 38 for at least 6 months until corrected by both my children on a few occasions. Anyway, 38 turns round the sun. Had a great time with alot of people I’ve got alot of time for.

:: Obviously in that year got to the realisation I am fully into plants – you can track that on @disco_roots – plants are a fully reliable source of satisfaction

:: the dog needs an operation

Other than that I need to get my head round the new margins around the working day (which don’t seem to include natural light). I’m nerding on coding math after a recommendation in the mdn docs.

And I read Inheritance by Dani Shapiro: I picked it up on the way back from London the other week. It is incredible.

Also, the plants are new trandescantia mini’s from The Market Florist in the Open Market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet

BACK

15th September 2019

 

I’m going to try blogging again. I wasn’t great at doing it all the time when the kids were small but they’re not anymore and I liked it. I did! The general hiatus has been because basically I’ve been really fucking base level sad and disappointed. For a long long time. I’ve had a-lot of weird stuff come to the fore in the last couple of years that has been incredibly difficult to manage, this, in retrospect sounds utterly ridiculous because I am completely cognisant I’m very lucky in the grand scheme of things. But loss, challenge, trauma. I’ve had a rougher ride than I expected having happily found myself married with two kids and a dog. It’s only about 15 months ago I was sitting in a basement room with a box of tissues and the psychotherapist opposite me uttered the word “anhedonia” and when I looked it up I was like ‘oh……. yeah, that’. I was so tired. I was so done.

this is what that word means : anhedonia : an inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities.

If you’re reading this you probably know I like alot of stuff: my friends and family, crochet, running, reading, music,  food, my dog.

I didn’t have anything in me at this time.

Pretty much mid last year I was only covering the basics: there were clean clothes, and food and so so many cuddles with the kids and dog. But I didn’t do anything else. I was a high functioning wreck, an absolute drain on those surrounding me, trying to support me, and in turn I found myself walking home in my lunch break and crying for an hour and then going back to work. I made nothing, I barely read, I did what needed to happen, the food, the laundry. And then I flaked.

I got written off work in the end with a horrible telephone conversation in which the doctor on the other end of the handset told me ‘you are not going mad’ – I’ve walked past that person since –  they were totally unaware how their words had reassured me, because I thought I’d lost my grip. The whole thing felt so staggeringly absurd… but I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LEFT. I’d burnt out. The last year hasn’t been a picnic, it’s been better, better than better – the person who delivered the news that ‘we’d all adapt’ can perhaps feel some sense of validation in that. But for two and a half years, I’ve been worried about alot.  Where will we live, how will I cope. Basically two years of shit that have entirely benefited from not being documented.

Anyway. Back. Making. PLANS. And reading. If you read this far. It’s ambiguous with reason. You know that.

 

 

 

Books

Books I read 2018 part three

30th December 2018

Screenshot of bookcovers I read in 2018

It’s a day to myself today. So far I have:

:: laid out a new baby blanket to dry (pictures to follow in another post)

:: been out on a run (nearly passed out after 2.5 miles)

:: had a smoothie with ALL the supplements and drank hot cacao

:: had a bath and read my magazine

:: cleaned the shower screen with citric acid (suprisingly effective, but OMG the water here is hard and I have not cleaned that thing properly in ages)

:: done some washing

:: mopped the kitchen floor

:: listened to “Becoming” by Michelle Obama on Audible while I have been doing all the house things.

:: BULLET JOURNALLING. I’ve only been doing it a week but it’s changed everything.

I’ve even meditated – determined to re-establish all my good habits that make me calm.

Anyway, books: last part. I don’t reckon I’ll read half as much next year as I’m focusing on getting fit and healthy again.

:: “Declutter your life” by Gill Hasson. Gill is my auntie so I got a copy of this. Good advice on starting small. I was far too tired when I read this but it’s about time I followed through on lightening our home. I have made progress since though.

:: “Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now” by Jaron Lanier. The amazing Zadie Smith is quoted as saying “A blisteringly good, urgent, essential read”, I’ve read this and Katherine Ormerod’s “Social media is ruining your life”  and it kept nagging on and on at me. I just don’t want to be on there anymore – there are pros but a huge amount of bloody cons. I can’t remember the exact quote by Kate Tempest but we’re all self creating false digital identities. I read a Cal Newport email this morning that valued analogue social over social. I’m yet to exactly unpack why I’m not on there at the moment, but put it this way. I have way more time and feel much more in control of my attention. I didn’t like that I was sometimes mindlessly consuming content I hadn’t set out to.

:: “The strangest secret” by Earl Nightingale said to be one of the greatest motivational texts ever written, it’s extremely short and digestible and still relevant.

:: “The bricks that built the houses” by Kate Tempest. All the best people I know gave me books to read when my life fell apart and I borrowed this from a friend, I really enjoyed the way it was written and how it captures the essence of going out through language.

:: “Earth is hiring” by Peta Kelly in an effort to turn my life around Lianne bought me a ticket to this girls workshop in London on her worldwide tour. It took me bloody AGES to read the book the whole way through I just found it grating. A giant rehash of a million voices that have gone before BUT as Kelly said, it’s all about finding your tribe and finding who you resonate with and whilst I was fucking DYING for a glass of white wine the whole time we sat listening to what I conceived as fairly pretentious and ill thought out delivery all I will say is she simply didn’t resonate with me. I was bored.

:: “The little book of contentment” by Leo Babuta – ” he who is contented is rich” – I’m struggling with contentment at the moment. This was a lovely read and I love the zen habits blog. Recommend.

:: “The art of not falling apart” by Christina Patterson. I got this from waterstones with a gift voucher from work. I loved it. It ended up leading me to one of the loveliest days I’ve had in 2018 and 2018 has been HARD so for this I am very grateful.

:: “My thoughts exactly” by Lily Allen. I loved this. I loved the look of the book, I loved how honestly she described a clusterfuck of different experiences that left her so troubled and so vulnerable. I like her. I also want her jumper from the front cover.

:: “Small great things” by Jodi Piccoult. I listened to this on the way to work via audible, I thought I’d choose something a bit different for me. I am in total awe of Piccoult, her work ethic, her research, this was good, just not my cup of tea.

:: “Let go my hand” by Edward Docx. Not sure where to start with this. Anyone who’s heard me talk about this book or the author would probably caution against asking too many questions because I don’t stop talking. It made me laugh and cry and there were some brilliant scenes that have stayed with me. I thoroughly recommend it. I liked it so much I got a copy for the shelf at work and bought it as a birthday gift and got my mum to read it. So there you go.

:: “Solitude” by Michael Harris. Genuinely the best non fiction work I read all year, reminiscent of Susan Cain’s quiet. I love solitude. I need it to function and I have not respected that in the best way over the years. This book will stay with me.

:: “Little Black book” by Otegha Uwagra this book had a bit of an instagram fame moment earlier in the year and by virtue of being easily influenced on social media I read it. Possibly good for younger generations, it didn’t speak to me, I found it boring.

:: “First we make the beast beautiful” by Sarah Wilson great book. I wrote about it here.

:: “Thinking out loud” by Rio Ferdinand I thought this would be a helpful book but for a variety of reasons that I’ve got no real business commenting on it and won’t explore here it really agitated me. I will say I’m incredibly sad for his family and for their loss but I have to say this book sat uncomfortably with me. However if it opens up the conversation for men to be more forthcoming with their emotions I welcome it, it just wasn’t the book for me.

I realise that’s a really quick round up but it’s the best I can do right now. Done is better than perfect.

Crochet

2018 in books Part 2

24th December 2018

The front covers of the books I read in 2018

As a continuation of my last post – here is Part 2 of what I read this year.

“This naked mind” by Annie Grace :: I ended up lending this one out, it made such a huge amount of sense (I say, with a glass of organic tempranillo in a glass RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME) she’s got a good podcast to dip in  and out of too.

“The little big things” by Henry Fraser :: I LOVED THIS BOOK. This was an amazon recommends. Just pure inspiration. “There is no point dwelling on what might or could have been. The past has happened and cannot be changed; it can only be accepted. Life is much simpler and much happier when you always look at what you can do, not what you can’t do.” I wish I could employ this, but anyway I thoroughly recommend it as a read.

“Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed :: Another beautiful book of letters followed by Strayed’s wonderful advice. I loved Wild. I love Cheryl and I read this paragraph at the exact right moment: “You’re looking for the explanation, the loophole, the bright twist in the dark tale that reverses its course. Anyone would be. It’s the reason I’ve had to narrate my own stories of injustice about seven thousand times, as if by raging about it once more the story will change and by the end of it I won’t still be the woman hanging on the end of the line. But it won’t change, for me or for you or for anyone who has ever been wronged, which is everyone. We are all at some point – and usually at many points over the course of a life – the woman hanging on the end of the line. Allow your acceptance of that to be a transformative experience. You do that by simply looking it square in the face and then moving on. You don’t have to move fast or far. You can go just an inch. You can mark your progress breath by breath. Literally. And it’s there that I recommend you begin” pg 113.

“Drink” by Anne Dowsett-Johnson :: This was a great book. There was an amazing vignette about Anne meeting Gabriel Byrne at a bar in New York while her heart was breaking. It was told so vividly  it’s really stayed with me and from that I’ve been devouring John O’Donohue poetry in “To bless the space between us” any time I have needed it.

“This is me letting you go” by Heidi Priebe :: I’m absolutely certain goodreads suggested this to me with good reason, but I genuinely can’t really remember anything about this read.

“Heartburn” by Nora Ephron :: she wrote ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘when Harry met Sally’ and got cheated on TWICE. Loved the light but incendiary writing and the description of the long necked harridan. I laughed. Painful but with brilliant acerbic wit.

“Aphrodite Emerges” by Susie Herrick :: this crowdfunded (HOW cool?) book was recommended to me by a good friend (HEY LIANNE!!!) there was so much good stuff that resonated for 70% of the book and then it tailed off. Worth getting though, it inched me further.

“The Upward Spiral” by Alex Korb :: advocates small tiny changes/decisions to pull yourself out of the worst downward spiral. Informative and helpful.

“The light we lost” by Jill Santopolo :: don’t remember anything about this book either. And that is not to say I didn’t read it???

“Rising Strong” by Brene Brown :: I got a pack of books sent to me from a friend living in Australia, this was one of them. My favourite ‘takeway’: “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”

“The year of less” by Cait Flanders :: I am unequivocally stuck in the consumerist cycle. When I worked at the school and had my asos delivery arrive (which I inevitably 9/10 sent back) the guy would say ‘one for Amy… AGAIN’. In some small way, the ability to purchase and have some agency in changing some of the landscape of my life has HELPED but I didn’t feel great about this observation. I do not need anything and I’d be interested in blogging on having/needing/working with less.

“What a time to be alone” by Chidera Eggerue  :: Erm… by someone younger than me that is alone, but possibly doesn’t inhabit aloneness in the same way I do at the moment. Don’t remember a great deal, the graphic design was great, I remember it being all over instagram and podcasts, that’s why I dipped in.

“Carry on Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton :: nothing eclipses her book. love warrior in my humble opinion but glad I read this.

“I hope this reaches her in time” R.H Sin :: it did. I shall return.

“This is going to hurt” by Adam Kay :: I saw this at Annelie and Leo’s flat in the summer. They had two copies, two copies in their place is enough to assure me it’s worth reading. I put it down as an audible read and on my way to my new work I jacked up the literary and walked through the park listening to this. It has got to be the FUNNIEST thing I’ve listened to in a long time, I was crying in multiple places. I can’t tell you just how brilliant or funny it is but FUCK ME IT’S HILARIOUS.

That’s part 2 done, I’ve got to do father christmas duty now. I’ve had another house emergency that saw me run from the church carol service earlier in the afternoon to disable the fire alarms but I’m pretty finished now. Be peaceful. Let your saniflo not runneth over. I am counting the minutes I can legitimately execute a move to the other side of the world.

X

 

Crochet

Ends

23rd December 2018

Picture of yarn ends

Oh God was today too much.

It started well. I got up, I coded – I’m pretty set on maintaining a streak of coding everyday (new coding – not work coding – sometime I’ll be good enough at this to start BUILDING) then I binge watched to the end of the Marvelous Mrs Maisel (I hate spelling this incorrectly). It feels like there’s been alot said about this show. I thought it was ALRIGHT. Her husband cheats on her, leaves her, she wears nice clothes and is marginally funny for her time. It should be behind a story of redemption but …yawn. I wish someone would produce an actual Joan Rivers biopic. I wouldn’t watch this again, it was mainly, for me, just an accompaniment to loads of hooking (see ALL the ends), it is just really glib.

Then it got the point of no return in the day where I needed to go into town to get the stocking fillers. Who else is going to do the stocking fillers? After today, let’s face it, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO TIME.  So I had to leave the house, there’s got to be something to take the edge off for for my second born that he’s not getting a Samsung galaxy (he left his letter for santa on the tree yesterday – can you believe that? When I said I thought it might be a bit late, he reminded me Santa is MAGIC [And I wanted to reply “Also total bullshit”])  There was a point, surrounded by quite an amazing cacophony of total middle class guff (Putin/Trump parody books… are they for the toilet??? Who knows??) lots of lovely lights and Frida Kahlo inspired rubbish and some cards for £8.99 on how to slow your life down that I looked around the shop I was in (it was RAMMED) and I decided to stop, kerbobbled what? I was done. I can’t think why I went to the same place I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN ON A WAITING LIST FOR CHRISTMAS PAPER CHAINS (FFS) a few years ago but I do love so much of the kitchen stuff in there.

Anyway, once I’d given up I ended up buying boring food things at the supermarket and then RUGS.

Rugs

Overwhelmed by consumption, I ended up leaving my rucksack and its contents in the rug shop but the rug guy thankfully found me a bit later staggering to the bus stop. Another mum friend joined me ten minutes later whilst we waited for the bus (I had no 3G to get an uber – what a first world problem) and the first words I said to her were “fuck this” to which she replied “I KNOW”.

A misty woodland walk with the dog followed.

Anyway. Merry Christmas.

I got myself a now tv subscription and I’m watching SMILF.

I shall be leaving the house to give the dog a run over the next two days but apart from that, I’ve got everything I need, the kids, the dog, food, books, games and a puzzle and a huge amount off yarn. My phone has been switched OFF for the next 48 hours. I just gave the kids their Christmas pyjamas – the softest onesies from M&S – both have complained because they haven’t got pockets (I genuinely felt a swell of pride) George has just lifted his bum and farted at both Ruby and my face, the Grinch is on, bring on some unit time. I’ll hopefully have a blanket to show the other side of the festivities.

 

Books

2018 in books Part 1

21st December 2018

Covers of books read in 2018

I set myself a goodreads reading challenge this year to read 40 books. I honestly don’t know how I’ve managed it. I have been next level tired and exhausted – but I think reading has been a way to distract myself from thinking, to engage and immerse myself in something other than real life. Maybe it’s delayed processing or maybe it’s helped over the last year and a half. Who knows? I love to read. It’s been a weird reading journey, I’ve often skipped from one recommendation on amazon to the next, or pulled out something totally at random from the library. I won’t say a great deal on any. Just sort of mark that I got there.

“It’s called a breakup because it’s broken” by Greg Behrent. I’ve read a fair few of these breakup books. I actually remember opening this at the office and marvelling at it’s ridiculously late arrival and inwardly dying inside at the state of the cover and the fact it was relevant to my life. I think these guys wrote ‘He’s just not that into you’. I didn’t like the writing style, I know it was supposed to be funny but I just found it all a bit patronising and slightly unhelpful which sort of contradicts every review. Definitely a book to judge by it’s awful cover in my humble opinion.

The Script” by Vicky Mainzer” A friend told me about this book. I thought it was glib and badly written, however the content holds up.

“Everything Everything” by Nicola Yoon Stupid easy read, which was exactly what I needed. I fancied reading a novel aimed at young adults and my inner teenage self finished it in a couple of hours. It was ok.

“The unexpected joy of being sober” by Catherine Gray Sober curious is a bloody awful phrase, but I suppose I have been ever since I started running and loved running more than I loved feeling at all hungover. Brilliantly written, fascinating. I rate this book. I get SO MUCH MORE DONE without drinking. However I’ve done little running and things have reversed so I’m thinking this year again to do the no-thing. Pip talks about this cool thing, in this post.

“Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig a wonderful book, engaging and well written for anyone going through a crisis. I saw Matt Haig across the road the other day and nearly threw myself at him and blurted out something grateful but I always sound stupid and fawning if I attempt anything like that, so I resisted.

“The Subtle Art of Not giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson I wrote about this book here – it was definitely worth a read. There are only so many fucks to give.

“The Sober Diaries” by Clare Pooley more sober lit. Was worth a read but I preferred the work of Catherine Gray if I had to recommend one of the two.

“The betrayals” by Fiona Neill this is a Sunday Times Bestseller. I think I got it on the 99p kindle deal. Not entirely sure of the logic to that, it just riled me if I’m completely honest.

“Keep Going” by Joseph M. Marshall This was an amazon recommends. I loved EVERYTHING about the lakota wisdom in this book. This is the perfect book for anyone going through a hard time. I read this around the time I had a physical and mental burnout this year. My favourite quote is “That one more step will take us beyond where we were, somewhere, anywhere, ahead whether by a hairs-breadth or an arm’s length does not matter. ‘It isn’t always necessary to overwhelm a problem or overcome an obstacle in one fell swoop. A series of small victories, small steps, will serve the same purpose. We do not have to gain the top of the hill in one swift leap, or a prescribed number of steps for that matter. All we need to do is reach the top one way or another. Hope is always one more step.'” So applicable to learning, living, running, making as well as crisis. Great book.

“A moveable feast” by Ernest Hemingway I read this after seeing the quote ‘we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright’ and thought it all sounded hopelessly romantic and idyllic. Then I read it. Then I read this article on the Daily Fail website and wished his book had ended with Hadley running across the road away from him. Yet, still, I loved this read and to read about his writing and his life and France. I’d love to read more Hemingway this year.

To be continued….