Monday, 4 January 2016

"And a Kitten in a Chriiist-mas treeee"

The festive season has come and gone for another year. I can't say i'm not a little pleased. November (or was it October) arrives with a fanfare of Oxford Street lights and sparkly adverts, Meg and Mog and men on moons and copious amounts of mince pie goo oozing on our screens, which only seems to cause eye rolling and some sick in my mouth. You could say i'm a a bit of a Scrooge in my relatively old age; take me back to the days when I was 7 and christmas was indeed the most magical time any child could imagine. Now the expectation still exists, but the reality is more washing up and unwanted packs of (too small) pants rather than reindeer and scalextric. It seems my mind is still stuck at age 7, and every year my actual brain seems to forget i've moved on a good couple of decades (nearly exactly two bloody hell) from those wondrously magical blissfully ignorant times.

I also really want to get proper sledgehammer drunk at christmas. This, as you may expect coming from a rather tame middle class family, is not really the norm post Turkey din dins. The parents both conspire that they'll have exactly enough wine that they can't drive (no more, no less), so heading out to wild parties in Manor House isn't really an option (thanks TFL, you party poopers). The result? I'm stuck in a tipsy haze being forced to watch Downton Abbey.
We somehow and to my monumental happiness managed to avoid Downton Abbey this year, iPlayering Luther instead (that left everyone a little confused? Whats that about, episode 2?), but that after much red wine and fizz, still left me hankering for a party. You know that tipsyness, where you've had just enough that you want to get really fucking wasted? Yes, well thats where I get every year. 
So at half 11pm I left the rents house... to go home and feed the cat. 

THE CAT. So I guess this year maybe was like being 7 again, I got a kitten. Yep, a real live fluffy cute enough to eat kitten! I got her a week before christmas, and is single handedly the best present I think i've ever received (apart from my first cat I got when I was 10). She's bloody ace, I even find her tiny poos cute. (I'm sure thats a sign to be concerned about my mental health but I only have one cat so far so lets not worry yet people.) I take so many pictures of her (I may need a new phone soon with substantially more space), yet because I am a socially conscious human person, I have decided not to fill up every social media timeline with SUPER adorable pictures of kittens every 5 minutes, but to instead put them all on a tumblr page that no one knows about.*

I definitely feel like a mother of sorts. All my mates now have babies (that's actually not an exaggeration, I would blame going to a comprehensive but even the posh birds have sprogs), and firstly, I can't help feeling sorry that they have a baby human not a baby cat and secondly, I was feeling a little left out. And now I don't. In fact, I feel a little superior. For instance, I can swear in front of the kitten (Misty, she's called) for years to come, and not worry about psychologically ruining her and prematurely socially relegating her to going to a comprehensive school and destroying any chance of lucrative career prospects (#schooloflife #lifelessons #methnotmath)

I have to be home 4 times a day to feed the demanding bitch (see, no trauma), and pick up her shit (yep, still fine), but otherwise motherhood is easy. I feel like a combination of Hank and Karen from Californication; doing what the fuck (um borderline) I want and not actually having to worry about how fucked up ("meeeooowww" (trans: muuum noo!)) Becca/ Misty will turn out to be. 

I have found getting up early is now not a problem when I have this tiny mouth to feed, so overall I think she's making me a more functional human being. I suppose this is what responsibility does, and it seems in my head having a job doesn't count as a responsibility, as I'm always late and never want to get up. 

The downside is now that half of every blog post will probably be taken up with me banging on about said wonderful kitten, so because of that I am sorry. So I may be more responsible and functioning, but with that comes being boring and talking about things that no one really cares about! I'm sure it was bound to happen at some point, and at least now i'm on the same page as my other baby centric boring mates (if you're all reading this i'm only kiddng hahahaha lol rofl!) 
Getting older; or the inevitable dullness of being, I guess?

MY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, 14 December 2015

'It Will Always be October'

Over halloween I escaped chilly London to an even more chilly and wintery Berlin. Crisp air, mist, sun, icy breath. The parties were hectic, the history of the city was captivating; I found myself pleading to the Norwegian Air gods to delay my flight, to have another week, at least another day in the city, where countless art galleries and museums went by unseen, and more £2 pints were calling to be drunk.
My prayers were indeed answered by thick fog descending over London, grounding flights in and out. I received that miracle text 4 hours before my flight home, the flight was cancelled. The others went ballistic, but there I was in the middle of this panic stricken whirlwind ("omg work tho") blissfully suspended in ecstatic disbelief. We had an extra 2 days; one day of culture, one day of absolutely nothing *cough drinking*. It was awesome.
I will return, to some still unseen art galleries and parks and museums, maybe next time when the sun peaks out from behind the low lying mist a little more frequently...!

Since the trip i've been obsessed with reading up about more of the history - especially post war Germany/ Berlin. I luckily (and pretty pleasantly) stumbled upon The Wall Jumper by Peter Schneider sorting books in Oxfam one day, and read it non-stop. It's a fantastic book - fiction is seamlessly blended with fact blended with history. Real life experiences of living in the DDR, crossing the wall, different lives, different experiences, different regimes, different psyches, suspending you in disbelief. It's just brilliant, i'd highly recommend it. I now find myself gravitating towards the German section of Daunt Books whenever I pass it, to see what other post war gems I can find. Here is an article by Ian McEwan about the book (also it's introduction in the Penguin Modern Classics version!) to give you a super good overview.

My first trip in a year, it was certainly a special one. Exhausted, drunken tears and achey feet would lead to midnight confessions and woody fireside hi-jinx, blurry magical nights to sobering days in the midst of such poignant history. The Bauhaus museum, Topography of Terror, DDR museum, the giant sized schnitzel and spatzle from a small restaurant in Shoneberg, the Alice in Wonderland themed bar, the fragments of brutal wall, 5am gardens draped in fairy lights and fires, and obviously the tiny kebab shop on Friedrichstrasse which fed us for the majority of the trip were a particular highlight, but the eerie view from the 37th floor of the Park Inn hotel took the crown. You all know i'm an absolute sucker for a magical view. Here's a small collection of photo's from my trip. As is usual for every holiday (and special occasion and event and outing in general) I wish I took more photos, but I never do. (I'm going to look back on my virtual picture album in years to come, and see exactly how my face has changed, but have no idea what I did between each selfie pout...) 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Autumnal Chills

I know i've said this before and I know i'll say it every year, I love autumn. Autumn is my second spring - a season of rejuvenation, awakening, and ironically because of the disgusting amount of spiders and their cobwebby detritus littering my room, clearing the cobwebs and dusty boring corners of my life! I totally adore the crisp air and the changing colours and slightly pink nose turning weather. Of course twinned with the sunshine that seems so much more cosy and sparkly than any other season.

Exciting things always happen in autumn; last year I got my first internship at Penguin, which provided me with a year of working in publishing which I couldn't have loved more. This year, I just started my other dream job - I am now working at the Oxfam bookshop in Bloomsbury! Most exciting of all, I can now use a till *thumbs up*.  I've never worked in retail before, and am excited to finally be able to get some experience in that area, whilst working with books, and my colleagues all seem ace. It transpires my manager's best mate has CF, so from the start stipulated that any time off is totally cool, I don't have to carry a shit tonne of books up and down stairs, and just to yell if anything isn't right. He's basically the perfect manager. I wish more managers could so be accommodating and understanding! I'm so excited to be there. I am quite a happy bunny.

I've also just booked flights to Berlin for halloween! Never been, very very excited. There's a group of us going, including my other half (Laura has a second half! omg omg omg omg), and I can't wait to explore, party, drink, discover, pseudo-hipster (to hipster must be a verb. Must be), eat, smooch, dance and stumble around a whole new city; A pretty fucking brilliant one at that if all the stories are true. Every one says they never return home before 8am, and I'm sure one of the days i'll be almost able to manage that with a whole day of extensive preparation beforehand (ie SLEEP and copious amounts of coffee and pizza (sausage and sauerkraut?)). I can't wait to get me some german sausage.

Remember my pain from the previous post? Well after even more testing, A&E visits, stints on acute assessment ward, CT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays and last minute MRI scans, they found nothing. Nada. Zilch. Nufin. Mystery pain has yet again remained a mystery. The pain magically disappeared last weekend at Chelsea and westminster hospital after 2 bags of fluids and 3 lots of IV paracetamol (which is, by the way, the most amazing pain killer!), and hasn't returned since. Very odd! But thank god it's gone. It got so excruciating towards the end, it was utterly unbearable. The fact I had no idea what was causing such agony seemed to make it worse - the unknown is always the worst. I think I had 2 pains - chest pain (mucus plugging / infection) which was quite mild, and what seemed to be kidney pain (very low down at the back underneath my ribs). That was the pain that rendered moving, sneezing, laughing, hiccuping, yawning, getting out of bed, doing lung function and even walking an impossible task. But they suddenly both disappeared within a day of each other, and haven't come back. I get a slight twinge every now and then, especially turning over during the night, but the improvement is crazy. Bodies are weird and a bit of a mare. Mine is definitely in that 'can't live with it, can't live without it' category. Docs thought it might be residual shingles pain, but I knew it wasn't nerve pain, and I flat out refused to take the nerve pain killers they suggested. Last year (when I actually had shingles) it took me 4 months to wean off the painkillers, which also double up as anti-depressants / anti-neurosis / anti-seizure drugs. They're fucking hardcore pieces of crap with extreme withdrawal symptoms, and I'm not taking them on the off-chance (and without any evidence) that it may be viral related pain. I'm super thankful it went away by itself!

HOSP SNAPCHATs because hospital is boring

After finishing The Guest Cat, i've just started reading The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. I popped into the sexy Daunt Books on Fulham road and worked my way over to the dystopian fiction shelf. I LOVE that they have a dystopian shelf! I knew Lem wrote Solaris which is a badass film, so before I attempt the novel I thought i'd start on his short stories. Love a good short story. I love short things. Mostly short things. This Daunt visit seems to be my new ritual when i'm working my way from Chelsea and West to the Brompton - a long lazy browse, a buy (I can't help it! I would like to buy the whole shop one day), and then a visit to the pretty Cafe Nero next door for a coffee and a munch and a read of my new purchase in the sun. I feel like i'm adulting very well these days.

I seem to have finally found a perfect balance of being busy at work and in day to day tasks, and chilling. I feel energised and very very content. My Tai Chi has nearly finished, but tomorrow I start a drumming course which is totally random but i'm bloody excited. I think drumming might be a good form of physio. Vibrations right? Vibrations rock!

Now i'm off to chill with Marcy and tea #veryadult