The Edge of 40.

I turn 40 tomorrow.

I did hope that I would at least be able to wander the non essential shops by the time my birthday came around, but I think we all knew that was never going to happen. I wasn’t thinking about doing anything big on my birthday even if were not in lockdown during a global pandemic, to be honest. I’m not one for wanting to mark my milestones with a massive party or some other big event. I was getting the “what are you going to do for your 40th?” questions from some quarters when I was 37, for goodness sake.

I wish that I had managed to get a bit further with the “Things I want to do before I’m 40” list before old Rona came along, but I suppose it just gives me more reason to try and work on them again when all this is over (because it will be, my friends). In the meantime, I will spend tomorrow indoors, in the warmth, stuffing my face with cake and watching more TV than I should be doing. However I might decide to go for a walk too if it’s not too cold.

(Also what is all this about people in my country sharing themselves walking in the snow barefoot on social media? Why would you do that?)

When is the cut off point to wish people Happy New Year?

I’m thinking it was at least a week ago, but this is my first blog post of 2021, so I suppose I can get away with it. Just.

I hope you’re all ok at the moment. Me? I’m Ok, plodding on as best I can. To be honest, I’d be spending most of January at home anyway so I’m not too bothered by being in lockdown again. I did hope that it would have been loosened a little by February, mainly as my birthday is next month (and it’s a milestone one). It’s also my friend’s birthday as well a few days before mine and we usually meet up for lunch. Just as with Christmas, we’ll be exchanging presents through the post (that was fun – and expensive). We’ve said we’ll go away for a weekend once it’s safe to. In the meantime, the celebrations will be safe indoors and maybe on the other side of a screen.

Spark Posted

One thing that I’ve found myself doing a lot since I downloaded Adobe Spark Post, is using it to put down my thoughts. Whenever I’ve felt stressed, or a random idea has come into my head, I’ve tapped it in the app, playing with all the various fonts and backgrounds until I’ve found one that suits the text.

Following the news regarding my home town of Manchester this week (as well as the government voting to not extend free school meals over school holidays), I made this. A simple graphic, with a message that is short and to the point.

You know he is. He really is.

Juvenile? Yes, but it felt so good to get it out of my head.

(If anyone in Greater Manchester or beyond wants to use the above graphic by the way, feel free to screenshot or save the image however you want)

Down

I haven’t been feeling myself today.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t been out of the house for the best part of a week, or that I was struck with the once a month curse this week. I’ve just felt really down in a way that I haven’t for a while. And tired. Really tired. Not even going for a walk earlier made me feel better, or any of the other things I like doing when in a bit of a funk.

Writing helps a little when you have an idea of what to talk about. Right now I am just typing the first thing that comes into my head into this space in the hope that something might stand out. It’s not going so well. I should know by now that I’m not so good at blogging when I feel like crap.

I’ll come back when I feel more like talking.

Brain dump

A.K.A all the things I was thinking about posting this week, plus anything else that comes into my head.

If there haven’t been enough reasons for me to feel old at the moment, it’s been twenty years since Chicken Run was released. Aardman announced a sequel this week, which they’ve partnered with Netflix for, which will likely premiere on Netflix. Maybe it’s a sign of my age, or maybe I’m being a bit of a snob, but I tend to view a film that goes on Netflix first as like the modern equivalent of a film going straight to video. Let’s be honest, while there’s a lot of good stuff on there, there is also a hell of a lot of crap. I am however sure that the film itself will be very good because Aardman never make a bad film (yes I do include Flushed Away in this)

I’m wondering whether a smart notebook would be a worthy investment. Sure I can see them as a good idea from an environmental point of view (reusable pages + ability to scan and upload notes = less paper needed), but they are pretty expensive. Then again, the price of one of the cheapest smart notebooks is probably the equivalent of at least 5 A5 standard ones and will probably last the lifetime of 50. I’ll think about it more.

I’m going to try and go a whole day without checking social media. I’ll let you know that goes one way or another.

Lockdown update part 4

Lockdown measures are easing a bit and many of the shops are opening again. While going for a wander around Primark or going to Greggs for my first cheese and onion bake in months is tempting, I think it might still be a while before I have the energy for a full on shopping trip. I don’t fear setting foot in a shopping centre, I’ve just become a whole lot lazier these last few weeks. I’ve also focussed more on getting the stuff I need rather than the stuff I want. Amazon, surprisingly has become a lifesaver for me the last couple of months, as I’ve found that things I would normally have got online from other suppliers have been much easier and quicker to get from them. I never knew that they sold certain toiletries until a near three week wait for a delivery from a well known health and beauty retailer at the height of the lockdown period forced me to source some of the more urgent items sooner.

I’ve been spending more time sorting stuff at the house, ahead of the final stages (hopefully) of the renovation. It seems like I find more magazines from years ago the more often I go. I mean, I did read a LOT of comics as a kid as well as anything that I could get my hands on bar the more grown up stuff. I’m just shocked we still had so many of them when I’m sure we were regularly recycling a lot of them up until a few years ago.

I found a sketchbook at the house from when I was about 13. Was reminded I did have a bit of drawing ability back then, even if it was mostly drawing cartoon and video game characters. My drawing skills are practically non-existent now (my sister was the real artist in the family), but I was always more into writing.

I’ve added more to my Spotify playlist because I was bored.

I’m looking forward to being able to go away again. Some might moan about “staycations”, but I love going on holidays in the UK. I admit I currently have limited options, what with having not renewed my passport yet. But even if I did have a valid one I’d still choose holidaying on home turf. It’s just how I am.

I miss my friends more than ever, but I’m feeling more hopeful that I’ll get to see them before the end of September at least.

I learned that another term for smartphone addiction is nomophobia. I’m not one to self-diagnose based on what I find on the internet, but…

My Life Story were a hugely underrated band. “If You Can’t Live Without Me Then Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?” should have been massive, as should “12 Reasons Why I Love Her” but I think we already knew that.

And that is about it for now. Hope everything is well with you.

Lockdown update

As of the 29th April, I’ve taken to writing a post by hand and posting a photo of it rather than typing it all out. Mainly out of pure laziness, but also because I don’t have my laptop at the moment. Here’s what I wrote:

In addition to the above:

I’ve started to crave Maltesers, Salt and Vinegar Square crisps, Haribo Starmix and Strawberry Hubba Bubba. Not together, obviously. Yes, I know I could go out and get them but I’m reserving my time out of the house for actual essentials.

I listened to the radio show of The Mighty Boosh on BBC Sounds. Now I’m wanting to watch the TV series again. Remind myself of the nights when BBC Three was actually on TV and I’d stay up to watch and admire this work of crazy genius (and, ahem, Noel Fielding. Well he was weirdly attractive).

I rate my mood out of five on most days as a two. Moving to a 3.5 later on in the day.

I need to get off twitter completely for a bit. Even reducing my amount of time checking it isn’t doing me much good.

Here ends the update. Hope you’re doing good.

I did have a title for this.

Procrastination is not something I want to do. But I’ve been doing it even more so of late. I just can’t get myself motivated to do anything that I know needs doing . Maybe it’s down to currently having a lack of a routine. Maybe it’s down to my body getting used to being relaxed after such a long period of rushing around, being stressed and not having a chance to have a break. I don’t want to feel like I’m putting things off, I do want to feel like I am doing something necessary. Besides I promised myself that I wouldn’t be a lazy get.

Last week I created a list in my journal of tasks for the week. I had about three tasks for each day and I marked off each one I completed. Admittedly, I had more incomplete tasks than completed, but it was better that I managed to attempt some of them than none of them. That I made the effort to compile a list was also an achievement, I suppose.

How do you try to avoid putting things off? And how do you try to keep yourself busy?

Bunny

 

This is Bunny. I was given him by my Auntie and Uncle when I was a baby, and he was my favourite toy. As a kid, I would take him everywhere. On car trips he would sit next to me on the back seat. He was there through a lot of good times, and also a lot of horrible times. To my very young self, Bunny was more of a toy, he was my best friend. Even when I hit my teens and the bulk of my toys I used to play with had been stored away, Bunny was still there, perched on a table next to my bed.

As I grew up and moved onto university and adulthood, Bunny eventually joined the other childhood things that had been carefully put away. Those childhood things later became lost under a pile of grown up things (you find out when you move back home from uni just how much crap you acquire). I was worried that I would never find Bunny again. Both my Auntie and Uncle had passed away by then, so I was more upset at the thought of not being able to find him.

A few days ago, on my 38th birthday, there was a shiny pink box among the presents. I was told it was a special present, so I left it until last. As I lifted the lid of the box, there was Bunny. My sister had found him on the floor of our bedroom, a bit dusty and his ears having come apart a little. The people renovating our house must have uncovered him while they were moving stuff around. Mum had washed him twice and stitched him up. When I took him out of the box, he looked good as new, save for his eyes being a little bit scratched, the result of the time that I tried to make him fly as a toddler. Seeing him there and holding him once again got me all emotional. Out of all the presents I got that day, this was surely the best one.

Bunny now takes pride of place next to my bed. And I’m not going to let go of him.

 

 

This week I…

Have spent most of it without taking my anxiety medication (which I only use when I need it). There were two situations when maybe I should have done but I’m trying not to become dependent on them and only using them when I feel I have to.

Managed to do one night of sleep during the working week without waking up at 4am and struggle to get back to sleep until I have to get up.

Emailed the counselling team confirming I want to access the service. Actually emailed them twice seeing as I realised that in the first email I’d sent them I’d got part of the email address wrong.

Realised I should have used my walking stick at least once this week.

Really want to get a SNES classic mini, because I never had one and always wanted to play Super Mario World.

Found out how I might look with purple hair.

(Yeah, probably not.)