Self care is a walk in the park

It’s been a busy summer – a fortnight in the Lake District, a couple of days in Brittany, some volunteering, building an office with my pals (power tools!), going bouldering, helping Lauren move house, going to a wedding, seeing my niblings, going to Pride for the first time… I read some books, not as many as I expected to, but some. I fell in a bog in the Lake District, which was hilarious at the time but became rapidly less-so as I realised I’d actually done some damage, resulting in two days off work, a lot of painkillers, multiple trips to my amazing osteopath, and walking like a duck. I’m on the mend, but it’s shaken me. My mood has plummetted over the last week or so and refused to lift, especially when I then dropped my phone in the toilet and was furious with myself about it, on top of everything else. I’ve had to cancel plans and miss out on things I wanted to do, and all this has coincided with the weather shifting from summer to autumn. I have not been in a good place.

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Putting my French degree to good use

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I went to university in Paris, which, amongst other things – you know, strolls along the Seine, visiting museums (though never the one I lived opposite for a year), getting double-decker trains – involved a lot of trips to boulangeries and patisseries. Before I learnt to cook properly, and, afterwards, when time was short or I felt lazy, a lot of my meals involved a baguette, and no picnic in a park or by the river or canal was complete without one.

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2016 in review

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with three of my friends to set fire to 2016. In the garden, under the full moon, with candles. We each wrote down what we want to leave behind in 2016, and what we welcome for 2017, then we read them out to one another and set fire to them. It was cleansing and very good to focus our attention on something tangible, rather than howling at the horrors of the year (though that is also valid and important). Now, as the sun sets on New Year’s Eve, I wish I could say I’m feeling cheerful and ready for the year to come, but I’ve got a disgusting cold and have had to cancel my plans, as I’m unlikely to be awake at midnight. My impulse is to try to counter that with relentless positivity, but even I can’t manage that on its own, so I’m trying to look at the year in balance. Continue reading “2016 in review”