I can’t believe the year is flying by so quickly. It helps to have a lot of things on, I suppose: it means everything goes faster because there’s less time (no time!) to sit around going “What am I doing with my life?”
Nonetheless my brain is having an irritating day today where it’s doing that. I am not a fan of these days, the times when my brain just gives me a constant stream of “You have done NOTHING with your life what is the POINT you are AWFUL I HATE YOU” and I’m like “Stop talking bollocks” but it just carries on grumbling in the background.
It was quite helpful, therefore, that the day I’m writing this is the second-to-last day of the month, because it means it’s time for my monthly round-up, which demonstrates what I’ve been doing for the last thirty days and how it’s not nothing.
Highlights of the Month
- Turning 31. I never expected to make it past 20, so each passing year counts as a bonus level.
- New clients! Lots of ’em. Three so far this month for Bohemiacademia.
- Spending a day in Oxford sorting out a conference I’m co-hosting there next year. We got so much done in a day, and now my life in 2020 will be easier as a result.
- Having the opening session for KOFMA 2019, aka the Kensington Olympia Festival of Music & the Arts, of which I am an organiser.
- Making a lot of progress on the novel.
- Finally sorting out a schedule for health-related things. It is ridiculous that I have to do this, but I have decided to arrange one health-related appointment per week. That probably sounds a bit odd, but it makes sense in the context of my life. There are so many weird things constantly happening with my body that when I go for a bunch of tests it takes ages and I inevitably end up being booked in for even more, which stresses me out. So instead of spending days at a time in the hospital, I am going once a week, for a different thing each time. Breaking it down into more manageable chunks, so it feels like an (admittedly odd) afternoon off work, rather than a Thing I Have To Somehow Fit Around Working.
- Continuing Second Saturdays at Scar’s, a monthly discussion group hosted in my living room. The idea is to get together and talk about interesting topics, no small talk allowed. This month’s topic was “What have you changed your mind about recently?” and we ended up discussing all sorts of things, mainly centering around relationships and children, and how you knew you wanted either of those things and with whom.
- Discovering the Caketail Club, which is brilliant and I keep going back.
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Finally tried @thecaketailclub in Hammersmith last night, after walking by it countless times going “Hmm, maybe I should try that place.” Strongly recommend it. Staff are lovely, cocktails are pretty and quirky (and strong! 😳) and the mocktails are nice too. Also, the food, OMG. Very very good. Great vegan options. And you must try their cocktail-based cakes, which are served in martini glasses – I had the espresso martini version and it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten. 🍸🍰🧁
- Making some progress on the papers I’d like to write next.
- Celebrating my birthday for the first time ever, in a low-key way, aka the only way I’d actually do it.
- Spending a day walking around Ravenscourt Park, Turnham Green and Chiswick with Umit, whom I hadn’t properly caught up with in way too long.
- Finally getting my windows cleaned, five years after moving into the flat. They needed it! And I found a great local window cleaning company (hit me up for their details if you’re in West London) and now I can get them cleaned regularly. It’s nice to be able to see the outside world clearly again.
- Not going abroad. It’s good to be home with the cat.
- Passing the Intensive Certificate in Psychotherapy & Counselling at Regent’s University.
- Having various nice baths with Lush bath bombs, which I hadn’t done in ages.
Things That Worked Well
- My new day themes. Monday & Thursday = Bohemiacademia work; Tuesday & Friday = academic work; Wednesday = work on the novel. It’s going well.
- Reading in the mornings. I started this tradition a while ago when my friend mentioned that she reads every morning before she starts work, and it struck me as a good way to slot in more reading time. It’s working.
- Cancelling my travel plans for the rest of the year. I am already so much less stressed because of this.
- Walking. I thought I hadn’t done much of this but it turns out it’s seen an improvement this month, so yay.
Things That Didn’t Work So Well
- Swimming, which still isn’t happening.
- Food. I have eaten a lot of crap, due to being away, and then ill, and then lazy and out of routine.
- Singing. I currently can’t do it because of this ongoing chest thing I’ve had for four months now (bronchitis, they tell me, although two rounds of antibiotics have done nothing to shift it, so now I’m doing the rounds of x-rays and other hospital tests). I’ve had to back out of the upcoming choir concert, which is a shame; and I’ve stopped singing lessons for the moment, which is a double shame because they’re enjoyable and also good for my (physical and mental) health; and I was in the process of writing a few songs, but they’ve had to take a backseat as well because every time I sit down at the piano and continue songwriting I stop being able to breathe, which I’m told is a helpful thing to be able to do.
This Month I Walked…
69.6 miles, which is about 20 miles more per month than I walked in March or April, so that’s nice.
This Month I Swam…
I did not.
This Month I Read…
- One Day by David Nicholls ⭑⭑
- Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas ⭑
- Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris ⭑⭑
- The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide ⭑
- Tinkers by Paul Harding ⭑
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck ⭑⭑⭑⭑
- Working Days: The Journals of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck ⭑⭑⭑
- Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Frederick Perls ⭑⭑⭑
- The Furies by Katie Lowe ⭑⭑
- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton ⭑⭑⭑
- Lullaby by Leïla Slimani ⭑⭑
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris ⭑⭑⭑
- I’ll Find You by Liz Lawler Ø
- The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar ⭑⭑
- Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce ⭑⭑⭑
- Never Greener by Ruth Jones Ø
- The Worlds of Existentialism by Maurice Friedman ⭑⭑⭑⭑
- Anthology of Fear ⭑⭑
- Prince d’Orchestre par Metin Arditi ⭑⭑⭑
- The Partisan Heart by Gordon Kerr Ø
This Month I Watched…
- The first episode of Years & Years, which was depressing as fuck, so nope.
- The first two episodes of What We Do In The Shadows, because my friend loves it and insisted that I would too. He was wrong, but then I’m very fussy about comedy.
- Wine Country, which wasn’t brilliant but was exactly what I needed one lazy Sunday afternoon.
- Ranganation, which I am enjoying, mainly because of Romesh’s mum.
And I cancelled my Netflix subscription a while ago, so there are fewer things to watch. Less choice isn’t such a bad thing, I think. And I’m reading more, which is a happy thing.
How’s your month been?