Friday, July 22, 2016

Let's try to focus on the positive

Everything has been so lovely since I moved here (once I started getting over the moving part of moving that is) that this week's setback is kind of knocking me for six a bit. I hate feeling like if I had the financial means rights now, I would prefer to move house. I've all but completely forgotten about keeping up with my list of simple things that make me happy because, well, just about everything has been so great it felt a bit like there wasn't much of bad to be mitigated. So, now that there is negative stuff, I really need to try and put some of the tools I have learned about over the years back into practice.

With that in mind, here are a few positive things from the last couple of days:
  • Got my renewal notice for house insurance. My insurance premium went down when I moved to this area (hooray). The insurance perios runs from August to July and this year's renewal also included a deduction for the difference for the few months since I moved here until 1 August. So as well as the savings for the next 12 months, I didn't have to pay 6.89 of the bill that I did get. 
  • Receiving that renewal notice reminded me that the renewal notice for my personal liability insurance came in last week. That'd be one of the things my guest from hell tidied out of sight out of mind on me so at least I was able to go searching for it and get that paid as well. 
  • I may not have paid off the moving costs yet but I did have money put aside for these two bills and was able to pay them without stressing.
  • Despite an extraordinarily unproductive day in work (spent two hours not actually working, just surfing the internet), overtime that I worked last week means that I haven't actually gone into minus hours. Being solely responsible for tracking whether or not I have worked my 20 hours, with nobody tracking it at all, is just so great and it's really keeping me honest, which is, y'know, one of my favourite feelings.
  • I can hear thunder rumbling in the distance so am hopeful that the heat might break a bit and I'll be able to sleep properly tonight.
  • Tomorrow I'm going to go and buy turquoise/blue paint to paint the remaining bookshelf and get some colour cards to decide what colour red I want to paint my dresser. 
  • There's a half-packet of maltesers in the fridge.
  • I found local, organic produce at a supermarket that's on my way between work and home. So I have courgettes, salad and tomatoes waiting for me to eat over the weekend.
  • This morning started off with a lovely phone call with a good friend.
  • I managed to get through to a podologist who lives just down the road from me and have an appointment next week. I really hope she's good because it would be so convenient. And her rates are very, very reasonable.

Rejection

This post may be a bit disjointed - it's one o'clock in the morning, it was another very warm day and I am tired. And browned off. Had to audition for choir this evening and didn't get in. And this after rehearsing with them for four weeks. Normally, I think, you rehearse for two weeks and then do your audition. But I wasn't able to be there on the day the auditions were planned for and then it seems they kind of forgot about me. Until I asked a question about something last week and it was all a big drama that I wasn't actually already an accepted member, culminating in one fairly agressive woman coming up to me at the beginning of rehearsal this evening to insist to me that I would not be allowed to sign up for the rehearsal weekend in September until after I had done an audition and been accepted.

Now, I'm not a great singer. I can hold a tune but I don't have a particularly strong voice and there is just nothing special about my voice. But I do have a lot of years of choir experience under my belt and wasn't really particularly worried about not being accepted. That woman's attitude and a couple of other things that I've noticed and experienced over the last few weeks were working in my mind the whole time that we were rehearsing this evening and I had actually decided that I would graciously decline the option of singing with them after my audition and was coming up with ways to phrase it politely. But as it turned out, I didn't sing well in the audition at all. He also asked me to sing something from the score of what we had been rehearsing this evening but I am not good at sightsinging, never particularly good at singing on my own and the fact that this audition was in front of five or six other people (I was so nervous when I realised people other than the conductor would be there that I never even counted) really didn't help. The conductor said that they only need altos who can sing very loudly and powerfully and that's why they wouldn't be taking me but really, I had sung badly enough that I knew I wasn't going to be taken. Even though I know that choir wasn't a good fit for me though, it's still horrible to be the one rejected instead of the one rejecting. Oh well.

After the week I've had and the effects of my most unwelcome guest still being felt, I am more than ready for this week to be over. But I still have to work tomorrow because I took Tuesday off (because of unwelcome guest being here - even if I did end up sending her packing that day). And what was the annoyance she created for me today? She moved an old suitcase (the kind of square/boxy looking type from the 60s). I knew she had obviously looked in it because what was resting on top of it was put back the wrong way around but this morning, as I was walking round the corner near where it stands, I stubbed my toes really badly. Because she put it back the wrong way around, it was occupying a couple of millimetres more space than usual (lid was to the outside rather than against the wall) and that was enough to put me off my stride/get in the way. Look away now if you're not fond of feet, you may not want to catch a glimpse of the photo down below! Here are a couple of others as illustration of some of what was done on Monday to increase distance between here and pic of bruise.




The (re-created) before. Actually, I realised afterwards that that cable wasn't even there, it was on the window sill. So it was just the books and the adapter. I had left these piled here without putting them onto the shelf below as they are the books I read before and during my move and I haven't yet added them to the list I keep of books I've read.



And this is how it looked when I got home. I'd like to point out that this bookshelf is in my bedroom. The more I think about the fact that she was tidying up stuff in my bedroom the more it annoys me. Whatever about being in there when I was there the evening before...if you are visiting someone and they are not at home, you just do not go into their bedroom at all. You just don't.









Trying to look on the bright side, being rejected by that choir means my weekend is now free and not taken up with two performances, I don't have to spend the money on the summer party planned for after the performance on Sunday and will save a bunch by not having to attend the weekend away in September. I've already checked out the university website (which I should have just done in the first place) and there's a choir or two there that look like feasible options for me. As most choirs here seem to take a break in August it does mean that I'll have to wait until September now, which is a bit annoying. There are worse things to deal with though. And in the meantime, I still do have my local choir to sing with. It might not be very good, but they are definitely more friendly. And positively thrilled to have someone under 60 joining them. :-)
Yep, that's a bruise alright.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Boundaries. Or, DON'T TOUCH MY STUFF!!!

I've been dithering for a couple of hours about whether to post this but I don't think the person concerned will ever read this and on the whole, even though I have already ranted to let off steam to both my brother and my sister about this, I think writing it down will, as always, also help me to deal with it and, hopefully, put it behind me.

So, short version: former work colleague/kind-of friend came to visit to help me with unpacking/to drive to Ikea maybe. It did not go well.

Much longer version with not a picture to brighten the place up, in which I will also reveal a bit more about what a fucked-up relationship I sometimes have with stuff and "my" space.

The woman in question is very nice really and we worked together, including having friendly chats (not every day or even every week but regularly enough), for just over seven years. Over the last year or two she has also been to my house a couple of times to attend Tupperware parties, and I've been to her house, also to attend a Tupperware party. Apart from that, and my leaving do when I finished up at the company last year, we didn't really have any contact outside work. So, for me that's a friendly colleague, for her, well, I think she thinks we're better friends than we are. Anyway, she did help one evening with painting my old place before I left there and we have always gotten on alright. But we're just not close in my opinion. So it was a bit surprising to get a text message from her not long after I moved asking if I thought I'd be finished unpacking in July or would I like her to come and help out for a day or two, as she'd have holidays. I quite frankly assumed she was angling for a cheap place to stay (judging by my standards again, I really shouldn't do that) and, since the offer of having a car to maybe go to Ikea to pick up anything I needed was also tempting, and just 'cos I'm fairly easygoing about having people to stay (I may not be in future!!!), I said sure, why not.

Last Friday I checked to see if she was still coming and was somewhat taken aback to hear that she was going to leave her place after breakfast on Sunday and stay until after lunch on Thursday. But okay, I really, really did think then that she was just looking for a cheap place to stay and would be out and about and enjoying the area, then maybe helping me a little bit on one or two days. Boy, was I wrong.

She arrived on Sunday afternoon and wanted to immediately get stuck into working. I was kind of expecting that we'd spend the afternoon catching up, having cups of tea/glasses of wine and just sort of chilling out. But no. So I explained to her that the thing I really wanted to get done was to finish painting the bookcases and get all the books onto them. That really is the task that I needed to get done in order to be able to make more progress with unpacking. And I explained that I was unpacking very slowly so that I could declutter a bit while doing so, as I hadn't had time to do much decluttering while packing to move. And I did say that I had to be the one to unpack, as I wanted to be able to know exactly where things were going and so on. Then I said that if we did manage to get finished with the books, maybe we could get the balcony set up nicely, including that trip to Ikea or somewhere similar to buy some furniture. And I thought that would be more than enough to fill a few days. Especially since I also explained to her that apart from the somewhat deliberate way I was going about unpacking, what with the mindfulness and decluttering and all, the other reason it was going slowly was because it has been warm and I keep needing to take breaks to cool down.

So after me explaining all that, I'm still not sure how we ended up moving all the boxes that were in the bedroom (several of which I had only moved in there that morning so that we'd have a bit more space to work in the sitting room) so that we could clean the big cupboard in there. She decided that made more sense because I'd mentioned to her that I used that for material, wool and hobby supplies in general and she felt that would be the quickest win. Only, I wasn't looking for a quick win. It may look like chaos here all the time but I've actually been fairly methodical. And most importantly to me, I have been really working on making sure that I don't repeat the mistakes I made in my last place and that I am dealing with everything properly, from a psychological point of view that is. So, I kind of let myself be railroaded on Sunday afternoon. We did get some useful stuff done, like carrying some stuff up to the attic, where I did push back on her suggestion that we rearrange everything to stack better (since I had done just that very thing the day before and was happy with the way it was). And it was good to get that cupboard cleaned when there were two of us there as it is quite heavy and unwieldy. I would have managed on my own but with two it was definitely easier.

But otherwise, I ended up doing exactly what I didn't want to do, namely, throwing stuff into the cupboard just to get it unpacked. And still ending up with boxes that weren't empty because in every single box there is a layer of books! She amalgamated some of them to being very heavy boxes of books that cannot be moved and by the end of the day we had nine completely empty boxes. Which means that I unpacked about fourteen or fifteen. When my preferred pace has been two or three a day. With two or three a day, I felt like I was really, consciously doing it and fully aware of what was going where, giving myself time to sort things the best way, giving myself time to live with things for a few days before committing fully to that place for that thing (lots of things ended up not being in the right place first time round and this way, I've been able to move things to more optimal situations easily) and, most of all, even though I hadn't realised just how important this step was, I have had time to mentally get to grips with each step and each box and each item in each box. There are plenty of boxes where I've been overwhelmed and just closed it up again and moved on to a different one. And that's okay. Sometimes I've opened up a box three or four times before actually being able to deal with it.

The part I hope I end up finding funny when I look back on this in years to come: I was not so gently hinting that it was time for a break by drawing her attention to the fact that I was sweating buckets. Her reply to my comment on how hot it was and look, this is what I mean when I say the heat really kills me was to say that surely I wasn't going through menopause yet, was I?!! When I said no, it's more because it's 27° and we're doing physcial work, she merely commented that she wasn't sweating so it should be ok. I pointed out that that's because she's not Irish. I guarantee that the majority of Irish people would be having the same reaction as me to moving and working at that temperature. Did you know that an official heatwave in Ireland means there has been five consecutive days of 25° or hotter?

Anyway, shortly after nine on Sunday evening, we called it quits but not before, while I was unpacking in the bedroom I could hear her moving stuff around in the sitting room. I wandered in once or twice and could she her trying to "sort" things. For example, she picked up some large bowls and said something like, "Oh, these belong in the kitchen", whereupon I explained to her that no, they were going to go into the dresser but were sitting on top of the writing desk because it is currently blocking access to the dresser. I firmly told her not to worry, everything that wasn't actually in a box was more or less in the position I wanted it to be, close to it's final storage place. But she still bugged me by continuing to pick up this, that or the other and say things like "You don't need this, it's old, I'll just throw it out". No, you will not throw it out, leave my stuff alone! I'm the one who gets to decide what to throw out WHEN I'M GOOD AND READY!!!!!  I found a couple of things that I knew needed to go into the cupboard where I've hung my coats and since that was one small cupboard and I knew it was a bit messy (I also shoved my bicycle basket, helmut and pump in there) I asked her to put these extra things in that cupboard and maybe tidy it up a bit. Thought I'd make her feel useful, less likely to poke around other stuff and get something done that did need doing. And in return I got a comment about how I have hoarding tendencies. Not untrue but the reason she made that comment? I had also shoved a bag of bags into that cupboard. This is one thing that I really did declutter when I moved, partly because I used so many bags moving and clearing out what I did manage to clear out and partly as a decision to get this one thing under control. So I reduced down to one reuseable shopping bag full of other reuseable shopping bags, Ikea bags, small plastic bags....you know that kind of thing. Most people have a drawer or a cupboard or something with a similar pile. I'm actually proud of the fact that I restricted it to one bag full and decided that was more than enough for anything I'd ever need. Her opinion? No-one should have more than three shopping bags. Since she made that comment though I decided, having been more or less silently hating the way the day had turned out and what I was doing, to enlighten her somewhat about my complicated relationship to stuff, partly arising from my past, partly tied up in my struggles with depression (which she was aware of), explain about some of the therapy I've done and the improvements I've made and so on. Thinking it would help. Ha!

We went out for dinner, things pleasant enough and then she asked me what I wanted her to  do on Monday while I was at work. I said "What you can do is relax and enjoy yourself, go into town, visit the castle ruins, sure I'll be home by three and we can work on the bookcases then". I told her I'd probably be leaving for work about seven or half-seven as I had a meeting I needed to prepare for. At quarter to seven on Monday morning I was awake but not yet up, having not slept terribly well and feeling generally very unsettled and unhappy after the way Sunday had turned out. And she knocks on the door, "Moonwaves, it's time to get up". Jesus, talk about making me want to roll over and just stay in bed. So fucking annoying. Off I went to work, where I vented a bit to the first person I saw (wasn't intended but I just couldn't hold back). And then a bit to my boss when I was explaining to her that I was going to work my hours on Thursday and Friday this week instead of Tuesday and Wednesday. Heard nothing from her all morning and headed home about half-two. I was just getting off the tram when I got a text from her saying that she had washed all the cupboards (the one small one which did still need doing as well as two others that I had already done, which just needed a quick dusting), fixed the holes in the bookcases (paint got into some of them, making them a tight fit for the yokes you rest the shelves on - but how stupid to do that before the final coat of paint went on?), cleared up the balcony and sorted all the papers together. But not to worry, she didn't throw anything out, just gathered everything neatly.

Let's just say that text had me dreading getting back home. The thing is, yes, things looked really messy but there was a system going. I had important stuff in one place, urgent stuff that it was important not to lose track of somewhere else, and non-urgent, non-important stuff somewhere else again. And now? I have two big piles of papers all put together. Neatly, admittedly. But what the fuck? They are, to a certain extent, private papers. Things like my salary slip, my health insurance stuff, correspondence from the social welfare office. I'm very open with people about just about everything in general but that is not an invitation to do something like that!

As the afternoon went on (so glad she went out for a walk with her dog as it meant I was able to ring my sister to give out) I kept seeing more and more things. Folks, she didn't not touch anything! I'm scared to look in my little box of sex toys as it wasn't quite fully under the bed.  If I look in that and everything has been neatly lined up I may end up having to check myself in to a mental clinic. And I am not joking about that. Something like this has happened once or twice before when I was sharing houses but not for a long time and never in MY OWN PLACE. All my own. This is not shared housing. MY HOME!!! Seriously, she seems unable to have anything crooked. One one shelf in my bedroom, on my unread books shelves, only half of it is taken up with books and I have used the front half of it as a bit of a dumping ground. Fine, it's it was a bit messy but I knew what was where, things were where I could get at them and even if a collection of stuff like multi-vitamins, perfume and small nails might not seem to fit together so what? It was all straightened out, the old cards that I am slowly moving out of my purse as I get new ones (as a result of my move) were stacked up together like books. The scissors was neatly lined up with the pinking shears.  My mooncup!!!, neatly lined up with the cotton wool. My nightdress, which I had thrown on the bed in the morning, was neatly draped over the end of the bed. The pile of books on the other shelf, which I have read but not yet added to my list of books read this year, was pushed back against the wall - no angles in this house! In went on and on. It seems like there was nothing she didn't get her hands on and I feel so violated. In the bathroom, she'd taken the washing powder and colour catchers out of the bag they were in and placed them neatly beside the full ones, with the bag folded neatly underneath them. Fuck all use to me when I just want to grab the bag and head down to the washing machine with it. Why did she think it was in a bloody bag? My toiletries bag, left open with the small boxes I use for travelling (soap and cloth holders, toothbrush holder): everything neat and straightened, lids on boxes. The lids are left off on purpose - trapping oxygen in there just leads to stale oxygen and smelly containers next time I want to travel. Hint for anyone who didn't already know it: never store empty containers with the lids on. It just went on and on. The one bookshelf I've already put stuff on is one I've planned out for cooking and gardening books on top and choir stuff on the bottom. And even though it wasn't full, I've deliberately not added any other stuff to it. It has its purpose and that's what I want it for. Now? It's chockablock with things that were placed near the cupboards/drawers I actually intended to use for them. But it's all neat and straightened.

My stress levels were really going through the roof and I was kind of starting to be a bit passive agressive, making comments on "oh, you did that, too". I know she meant well but she really, despite me again explaining that I need time to mentally deal with all of the unpacking and sorting, just did not get it. I flat out told her over our late lunch that I was not planning on unpacking any more boxes while she was here, that Sunday was just too much for me. I got on with painting the bookcase and asked her to do the shelves. All fine. Except then I went into the kitchen and noticed the bin had an ordinary plastic bag in it (rather than the bin bags I normally use). Since I'd emptied it just before she arrived, I wondered why she had emptied it again. And my stress was so high at this stage, so many of my triggers already triggered. I had noticed she had thrown out one thing: the empty toilet rolls bags, i.e. the plastic bag that the toilet rolls are sold in. Not at all a big deal to get rid of that, right? Well, no, not really. Except that I had brought the recycling bag down with me on the way to work to empty it (she wanted to do it on the way to dinner on Sunday night and I disagreed as I didn't want to carry the empty bag around with me, to which she replied she would have just thrown the bag out - it's a reusable bag that is still perfectly fine, why would I throw it out?) so I knew those plastic bags weren't in the recycling (I had only just put the empty bag back in place). As a matter of fact, I use those bags as bin liners for the bathroom bin as they happen to be the exact right size. Which is why I had another empty one just thrown into the cleaning basins in the bathroom. I was keeping it to use. I mentioned that to her, explained that I usually used them and asked her if she had thrown anything else out. She said no.

After I had noticed that she had indeed emptied the kitchen bin, however, I couldn't relax. It was another hour or so when I just couldn't stand it anymore and actively started trying to figure out what else she had thrown out. Next up was the washing-up liquid bottle (and again, something that should have been recycled). Now, it was getting near the end, I will admit but I would have gotten at least another week, probably closer to another month out of that bottle. I asked her and she said it was completely empty after she'd wiped down all of the cupboards. Okay, fine. Then I saw that she had moved one carton of eggs into the little holder in the fridge. Now, I'm not one for keeping my eggs in the fridge and since I buy my eggs from the market I always re-use the carton. At that stage I asked her again, what had she thrown out. Nothing, was the reply. People, I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I just couldn't take it anymore and I ended up going down to the big bin, dragging the bag out of it and opening it up to dig through it. I was nearly in tears I was so upset. She claimed to have only brought the bag down because she had seen the lettuce in the fridge (it was stored in a plastic bag), taken the outside leaves off and they smelled a bit because it was so hot. Reasonable enough. Except, if she wasn't having salad for lunch, why was she digging around in the fridge at the lettuce? Why did she feel the need to find the eggs in the cupboard and put them into the fridge? Whatever about being untidy, if I had left the eggs out on the counter I might have understood why she thought I just hadn't gotten around to/hadn't bothered putting them away. But they were put away in the cupboard.

So, digging through the rubbish was not one of my finest hours but you know what? Totally justified because of course, she had thrown other stuff out. Even if some of it stayed in the bin, at least I've now seen it and I can handle it, because I know it's gone. Even if I do prefer to shred envelopes that have my name and address on them. And I was able to fish out a guarantee for a little gizmo (no-one ever needs those guarantees really but you never know. I have a small drawer dedicated to things like that so again, keeps it in bouunds but allows me to be a bit anal about hanging on to maybe-but-probably-not-ever important stuff). And I also recovered the instruction manual for something that I only purchased a couple of weeks ago and haven't yet set up! There were some receipts in there as well although a quick glance was enough to reassure me none I needed to keep. The thing is though, she didn't know that. I can keep receipts for all sorts of stuff to claim on my taxes now that I'm a freelancer and it's my business to go through what receipts I have and decide, not hers. I think after she saw that, however, she started to actually accept that when I was talking about my issues with "stuff", I really do know what the hell I'm talking about.

After making a show of myself (although in my opinion a fairly justified show), I decided to, as it were, take the high road. I apologised for making a scene, explained again that these really are serious issues that I deal with and hugged to show there were no hard feelings. And I cooked a nice dinner and we ate and drank a bottle of wine she had bought earlier. And then watched some Father Ted, as I had been trying to explain my "Feck it, sure it's grand" poster to her and remembered Mrs. Doyle "feck" scene. I still felt invaded but in my head was thinking, when she's gone, I can pull everything out of the cupboard again and start over. I can pull all the stuff off those shelves and get back to where I was before. I suggested to her that the next day (today) we put the books onto the now finished shelves and then go and get balcony furniture and buy some soil while we're at it and then we could spend the afternoon potting plants and enjoying the balcony. Thought that would stop any further issues.

But this morning I just could not make myself get out of bed to face it all again. Woke up several times during the night and just don't feel relaxed or comfy or, well, basically I still just felt like my home had been invaded and violated. After txting a friend about the whole situation and then receiving a phone call from someone else who never fails to make me feel good, I bit the bullet (about half-ten at this stage) and headed into the bathroom. I was in the shower when I noticed the straw that finally broke my camel's back. Last Friday, I bought a two-pack of drain protectors, you know, the little round things you put in the plughole and they stop hair or anything else from going down the drain and clogging it up. That packet was in my bedroom as I hadn't yet gotten around to clearing out the hair that has accumulated since I moved here (I forgot to take the old one with me from the old place). Not anymore though, as yesterday, she obviously opened up that packet and took one out to put in the shower. I really did cry when I saw that. Again, it is such a stupid, silly thing but I feel like she robbed me of a piece of making my home my home. As if I've missed out on a small piece of ritual that would have been another satisfying click of another piece slotting into place in making this place a home. Now, whether I did it or she did it doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things, really the important thing is that my hair won't be clogging up the drains. But, still. I felt and still feel robbed of that moment. And the sense of violation just washed over me so strongly it left me weak. And so, to end this long and for everyone else boring story: I got dressed, went out to see her where she was sitting on the balcony, told her I had a migraine, was likely to be in bed for two or three days with it and asked her to leave. Not quite the assertive way to do it but I just had to get her out of here.

Even since she has left, I have been prowling around, trying to see what else she's done. Noticed that when she cleared up the stuff on the balcony she threw out the box that I was keeping pots and things in. Okay, it was a fairly beaten up box but now I just have stacks of pots and the tools are shoved into a bucket and have been placed under the barbeque. What happens when I need to use the bucket? Or want to use the barbeque? At this stage, I'm even annoyed that she pulled all the dead bits off my aloe vera plants, something I've been meaning/threatening to do for at least four years. I'm slowly trying to undo what she did but hey, at least two of the bookshelves are finished and I can move forward with the things that I wanted to move forward with. It's going to take me a while to get over this and I've already asked a couple of friends to come and visit soon so that I can clear out her "bad" energy imprint. :-)

So there you have it. Yet more longwinded insight into the fucked-up mess that is my brain and my life. I only seem to be normal sometimes, never actually am.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Your tomorrow self

Read an interesting post on Frugal Paragon yesterday (yes, I, at nearly 42, still often feel like an "imposter" adult!) but one thing seemed to stick in my head. She refers to an idea from The Hands-On Home about thinking about evening chores as a gift to your tomorrow self. It was horribly warm yesterday and I didn't get even a quarter done of what I wanted to. And then had to head off in the afternoon for a choir performance and didn't get home until half-ten. Of course it was still very warm by then so I sat down near the open door, hoping a cross-wind might develop and decided to catch up on some internet reading. I'm slowly starting to catch up on blogs and dipping a toe into the waters that are the Mr. Money Mustache forums. As it turns out it was well after midnight before things cooled down enough for me to feel capable of movement, which is a bit later than I had planned being up. I very nearly just went straight to bed but having this idea rolling around in my mind I decided to just do the washing-up. And then once I got up I thought to myself that since it had cooled down a bit, it might be a great idea to bring the stuff stacked beside the front door up to the attic. So I did that. And then I did the washing-up. And then just for good measure I tidied away all of the shoes that were piled in the hall, too. And you know something? Yesterday's tomorrow self is now really glad.

Anyone else ready to jump on board with this idea? I think I'm going to make it a semi-regular feature.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Do you know who's dead?

I'm reading a book at the moment that I was given for my birthday last year. Called "Do you know who's dead? - A hilarious celebration of what makes us Irish", it has had me on the receiving end of lots of strange looks on the tram and waiting at the bus stop today as I couldn't hold the laughter in. I really want to recommend it to everyone who's a fan of Ireland but I'm afraid they wouldn't understand the half of it. If you think you might be interested, there's an article on it in the Irish Times - if you get most of that, you might have a chance with the book.

The chapter on Father Ted was particularly good and I've just spent the last while clicking from one youtube video to the next. I really should sit down and watch them all again some time. For now, here's a compilation video of some of the best bits. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The slightest thing can knock me off my stride

My boss has said several times that she thinks I've picked things up very quickly. Yesterday she commented that we haven't quite found our rhythm yet. It wasn't in any way said negatively, it really was just a comment on something insignificant. So insignificant I can't even remember now what it was. So insignificant that there is nothing concrete for me to grasp onto and say, right, I can do this better by doing xyz. And yet...

And yet it is eating away at me and making me doubt myself entirely. Making me feel like I'm too slow, not doing things right, not good enough. I'm trying to do all the things I've learned over the years, especially some of the stuff I was reminded of in the stress seminar I did in January....catastrophising, I'm looking at you. Begone!

But it is difficult. And today was a very early start, which is very rarely a mood booster for me. Now I'm sitting waiting. We're doing a day of interviews for PhD students and the next hour or so is Skype interviews so there's nothing for me to do but wait in case the panel needs something. And I left my charger in my bag in the interview room so this phone won't hold out much longer. Normally a bit of time to think isn't a bad but when it's coupled with a time of self-doubt like this, it's not ideal. Excuse me while I go and rearrange the name tags again. :-)

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 09, 2016

More productive than anticipated

I went to the doctor last week to make sure that a very itchy ankle really was just down to mosquito bites (six or seven of them! What can I say. Apparently I'm delicious). Since it was my first time there and it has been two years since my last general check-up, they offered to do bloods then and there (I went first thing before eating anything just in case). As well as bloods they did a ECG and a urine test. Turns out I have a UTI so now I'm on antibiotics for that. Not at all what I was expecting.
At any rate the tablets, along with a very busy week at work and at choir mean that I have been more than usually tired. And particularly grateful to be working part time and having a three-day weekend every week. I spent most of yesterday lying down, resting my ankle, sleeping as needed and reading Jane Eyre. Not a bad day at all. I didn't think I'd do much more than that today either but a phone call from someone I've been longing to hear from this morning was definitely a mood booster.

It is hot though so it's not the kind of day I would have expected to get a lot done. But as sometimes happens just a little bit here and a little bit there and all of a sudden I've gotten a lot done:
- Four more boxes unpacked
- Chopped onions, garlic, courgette, tomatoes and turkey and cooked that
- Added lentils and some water to the vegetable soup I took out of the freezer yesterday and made a dahl-type dish out of that
- Washed and dried the huge amount of lettuce I got on Thursday at the market
- Cleared enough space to get on with painting the bookshelves
- Found something suitable to give a neighbour as a present (I'm invited, along with rest of choir, to party this evening) and even found enough paper to wrap it in and wrapped it
- Also thought to put bottle of Sekt into fridge (just in case it's the kind of party you're supposed to bring drink to - I forgot to ask)
- Took enough breaks in between to be able to stop sweating before doing the next thing

So now I get to eat a healthy, tasty meal before getting one more coat of paint on the second set of shelves and then treating myself to a long, hot shower. Well, lukewarm anyway.

posted from Bloggeroid