My blogging is getting sporadic again, and this week I really have NO excuse not to blog as it’s the Tattie Holidays – which means I’ve got FOUR free evenings this week (this is unheard of).
There’s lots to write about good and bad.
I’m going to start with the bad because I’d rather end on good.
The bad…is that the winter blues have arrived. I suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which means when the weather gets colder, the nights get longer I really struggle to go about my daily life. Everyone is affected in different ways, but for me, it usually means getting very depressed (most mornings as I’m getting up I will be very tearful), I struggle to sleep at night and quite often will start having short-term memory loss/lack of concentration (which I think is usually a result of the insomnia). I’ve had a lot of support from my online friends, some of whom have had depression, some of whom also have SAD and discovered a number of things that help. I use an app called ‘Flux’ on my laptop to simulate daylight/nighttime. Trying to stock my freezer up with at least semi-healthy comfort food (as in bad times, I find it difficult to get energy and motivation up to go to shops to buy food to make proper meals) like soups, fruit crumbles and chilli. This year, it really hit me last week and within two days I was climbing the walls with despair, and it took every ounce of strength and courage I had to get myself out the house on a cold rainy day to get to my Italian class. I cried most of the way there, because I honestly in that moment had forgotten what sunshine looked and felt like and felt like I would never see proper daylight again. Last night I bit the bullet and used some of my tuition fees savings to invest in a Lumie alarm clock which simulates sunrise. I’ve been recommended this by two SAD sufferers, and really hope that it helps me this winter season.
Ok. So. On with the good and exciting.
1. I have rediscovered dungarees
As I wrote on my Girlguiding blog, my Guides were doing a badge created by a unit in Lesmahagow called the ‘Minion Mayhem Challenge’ and on the last night of Guides before the holidays we all dressed up as minions. This meant spending two afternoons going to every charity shop, vintage clothing shop and fashion retail shop in Edinburgh city centre to find a pair of blue denim dungarees. And a yellow top. Eventually I got a pair, they are a little big but man are dungarees comfortable!! I don’t care what I look like, I’m now going to be wearing them more often.
2. Ballet Fridays
Though soon I’ll be arriving in the dark (sob!) but how can you not love this view that is at the back of the National Centre for Dance? Our teacher is continually getting us to work on the details of our movements and though my feet and legs are often very sore the next day, I’m loving my classes. And I finally found a ballet leotard to fit into. This is mainly so I can wear ballet tights as one of my classmates said “He [our ballet teacher] is the only man I shave my legs for“. And let’s be honest in winter…it’s too cold to walk around in cropped leggings!
3. A reason to go back to Glasgow…Part 1
My friends very generously and amazingly gifted me something extremely special this summer. They got us tickets (so I can go with them) to see one of my favourite bands play in Glasgow. I am finally getting to see Death Cab for Cutie live! I haven’t bought a music album since I got made redundant last year, but found their latest album at a very good price in a music shop while on a search for dungarees last week. I’ve been listening to it in my Mum’s car ever since. Coincidentally their album shares a title with my friend Holly’s new blog: Kintsugi.
4. A reason to go back to Glasgow…Part 2.
Three years ago I found out that the World Artistics Gymnastics Championships would be held in Glasgow in 2015. Going to see a World Championships (and a Europeans, and an Olympics) has been on my bucket list since 1996. The only problem was that when the tickets came out at the beginning of this year, I was paying tuition fees for university and was on Jobseeker’s Allowance. So I didn’t have money to get season ticket. I realised a few weeks ago that I would likely regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t go. So I bit the bullet and bought two tickets to both the Men’s All Around and the first day of Individual Apparatus Event Finals. I don’t know who will come with me yet mind you, but although I’m going to be in the cheapest, crappiest seats….I AM GOING TO SEE THE OLYMPIC QUALIFYING WORLD ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PERSON. It’s in the same venue as the Commonwealth Games was last year.
5. My brain is confused with all the words
I couldn’t take Spanish this term (still) and so I decided to learn Italian because I wanted a class that was during the day and midweek, and then because I got that funded, I decided to learn German too. I’m actually enjoying learning German better as I feel the classes are more intensive and I’m learning more and having a better understanding of the language than I am in Italian. One of my old blog friends suggested in jest a few months ago that I should go work for an international school in Germany, and well…if that ever becomes more serious than a joke…at least I’ll know more German than ice cream, chocolate, scoop and apple juice. If I’m still only working part-time and able to get the funding again I may continue with German next semester.
And last but not least…
6. Airmail Christmas
Yes, we will be doing Airmail Christmas again this year. Rebecca isn’t able to coordinate it this year, but as I helped her do this in the first year (as she was in Australia) I’m stepping in again! We have contacted a family of someone we would like to honour, and hope we will have more details about how you can sign up and participate next month.