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.)

Things I want to do before I am 40.

(Because I am less than three years away from it and I should probably start to aim for them now)

Learn to drive.

Get a Smart car (after I’ve passed my driving test, obvs).

Get my own house. I know it’s an extremely long shot but I hope to be able to afford one at some point.

Become a published writer (and like, totally earn money for said writing).

Go to the Edinburgh festival. I used to go on holiday to Scotland nearly every year during my kid and teen years and it was nearly always when the festival was on. Nearest we got to it was watching stuff on it on BBC2 (we were staying up in the Highlands).

Go back into studying, even if it’s just for a short course.

Attempt NaNoWriMo again and actually complete it this time (or maybe just get further than I did the last time I attempted it).

 

This post will be edited as and when I complete certain things and/or think of new things I want to do before I hit the milestone.

Sick leave

As I write this, I have been on the sick from work for almost a month, thanks to my arthritis deciding that it wanted to attack my right knee as well as my left. My right knee swelled up so badly my GP managed to get me an appointment with my consultant the same day who gave me a steroid injection. I thought I would be back in a week, but it has taken me a lot longer than anticipated. I still can’t bend my knee much, I still get a bit of a limp and I have trouble going up the stairs, but it’s not as bad as it was.

At first I felt a bit guilty about it. I haven’t been off this long in all the time I’ve been working. It has been a source of worry at times and I have been stressed out whenever I have had to contact them, but it has been a wakeup call. All too often, I have gone to work when I really shouldn’t have done. I’ve gone to work when I’ve been feeling sick, when I’ve had barely any voice from throat infections and colds, stomach cramps. When the arthritis was at its worst in my other knee I practically limped in every day. And in the weeks before my latest episode, I’d felt twinges of pain in my right knee and in my feet, which I’d put down to being on my feet a lot (which happens a lot in my job). All the times I’ve done those things it was because I didn’t want to let anyone down or cause any problems not being there. Now I know that I should have listened to my mum and my sister all those times when they told me that my health was more important than my job. I realise that I have to put myself first more often and that trying to work through an illness is not always the best idea.

When I go back to work, I’m going to have to be a lot more careful. I’m going to have to sit down more often. I’m even having to consider getting a walking stick, just in case I have any bad days. I have been putting it off for a long time to be honest, part through thinking that I really didn’t need one and part through fearing what people would think of me walking around with one. There isn’t any point in worrying what others might think now.