Wow. March just flew in. How did that happen?
Delightful living conditions
Have you let memory foam into your heart? You should. It’s amazing. I love it and am genuinely evangelical about it. While I have a brand new mattress on my bed, it’s not memory foam like my last few mattresses and I missed it. It is hands down the most comfortable mattress to sleep on. If you share a bed, you won’t feel the other person turning over. It hugs your body supportively and you sleep so well. As a treat to myself and to generally make my life better, I bought a memory foam mattress topper before Easter. Memory foam does have quite a strong smell when you first break it out of its packaging, so I let it air out while I was at home over Easter. Every night I get into bed now, I involuntarily sigh with delight.
Flat-wise, there are some cupboards in the hall way stuffed full of random things (one has a mop, some carpet and a fan. I am sad every time I open this cupboard. I should stop opening the cupboard as I need none of those things, but still). In a fit of productivity, I took everything out, organised it and threw away junk.. It pleased me immensely. On the decorative side, I put up some more pictures and collected some (many) glass jars for tealights. I have an idea for decorating some of them with lace, but we’ll see. I’m a sucker for candles and fairy lights – they cultivate such a cosy intimate atmosphere and convert an evening watching TV into something indulgent.
I’ve decided that in order to recover from minor romantic setbacks, I should immediately plan something nice as a distraction. So, to move on from a disappointment over Easter, I booked a trip to Seattle to visit a friend of mine for Thanksgiving. For years I have wanted to visit her, but time and money prevented me. Life is short, as we all know, and I may not have this kind of opportunity again, so I jumped at it. This should also be filed under “BRAVE” as not only did I book it on my phone with limited awareness of my AVG software, but I also don’t travel well and I’ll be doing it all on my own. I can’t wait to see my friend and see her life. It’s time I really invested more than skype and emails in her. She’s important to me.
English friendswise, I visited my friend on maternity leave with one of my annual leave days from 2015 and delighted in hair tickling her baby. It wasn’t much, but I was so pleased to spend time with her.
Confident in the kitchen
I’m not 100% convinced by Wimbledon library yet. The layout is bizarre, there are far too many study tables and one of the librarians is too loud, but I love it nonetheless. I’ve never met a library I didn’t like. Libraries have been a refuge since I was a tiny girl. I feel safe and rich in a library. I can always, ALWAYS, find something to read and especially adore coming across old –not vintage, just old – books that attract my attention. Wimbledon library, like all libraries, has a substantial cookery book section and I brought home Jack Monroe’s first book, A Girl Called Jack, which grabbed me and made me want to get in the kitchen.
In March I made their courgette gratin (vegetable rice with cheese and courgettes layered on top), which was excellent (even if I threw more vegetables into it than required) and a herby spinach mushroom dish of which I have now forgotten the title, but those were the ingredients. I’ve earmarked (and photocopied) more recipes to make and really like that they’ve made me enthusiastic about vegetables.
I also pimped a Sainsbury’s ready-meal, claiming to be Korean, with more vegetables which made it more excellent. I’d like to learn how to do more Korean food, but the long list of spices puts me off a bit.
Well, I’m still not married. But I tried pretty hard this month. I went on lots of dates and am slowly getting back in The Game (shoot me now). I’ve learnt that I should trust my instincts, to ignore people with very very different approaches to sex than me (although it does lead to some hilarious stories. To be clear – no sex was had. If it was, I definitely wouldn’t be writing about it here. It’s not that kind of a blog), that people who want to spend time with you make that known and to be kind, but firm. It was also confirmed that I am *too much* for some people (possibly all the people) and I might want to learn how to temper that. I also learnt that if a man can’t drink 5 whiskeys and stay straight with me, it’s interesting but not ideal. Five. Five is key.
I went on dates to places I did not know with men I didn’t know (obviously, I was safe. I have not yet been murdered. I have made a lot of “don’t murder me” jokes).
I also took buses. Buses terrify me, because sometimes they don’t stop, even when you push the button, and then you don’t know where you are. Tube > bus. This is a stupid thing, but there you go.
I also did a lot of map reading this month, which involved me walking in circles quite a bit, but my map skills are improving.
Healthy Mind & Body
This month I threw all my money at the dentist. My mouth is costing me a fortune, but I am so proud of myself for going to appointments, not making a fuss, not taking breaks, not trying to talk my way out of appointments and just sucking it up. Yes, I have been terrified, but tough. Me and floss are best mates now. Me and the mouth guard are still in the bedding in stage. I’m decidedly less keen on the mouth guard.
I have been caning the fruit and vegetables this month. I’m voluntarily eating celery and only mildly complaining about it. One thing I will need to sort out is eating fruit and vegetables instead of other things, rather than as well as. To be fair, I snack a lot less at work (mainly fear of the dentist, to be perfectly honest), but I keep reading things that say “pudding every day is madness” and CLEARLY that is not how I do things. Dessert is a daily occurrence for me and, realistically, I see breakfast as an excuse to eat cake in some format.
On the mind front, I made a point not to chasten or hasten my mother when I was at home. I make plans, she can’t stick to a plan. I wear a watch, she thinks time happens to other people. If I try and impose my rigidity on her, no one wins. Over Easter I made a conscious effort not to force my opinions and lifestyle on her and be respectful that I was in her house. It was still mildly stressful, but at least I didn’t snipe at her, which made for a much more harmonious time.
Art and culture
One of the exhibitions I was most excited about was Cosmonauts – Birth of the Space Race at the Science Museum. I went after work one Friday night (hadn’t realised that the Mormon church was across the street, wondered why there were so many Elders kicking about outside) and spent a blissful few hours geeking out on the Soviet side of the space race. You guys, I love space. It was epic. The exhibition was extensive and the staff they had on hand were phenomenal. A unformed chap came over to me, I thought to chastise me for taking a photograph, but actually just to point out things I might not have noticed. He spent a good half hour telling me about the moon lander, how the exhibition came to be (very stressful. Lots of the pieces had to be declassified first of all as they were top secret, which was a lot of paperwork in itself), the logistics of placing the pieces in the museum (knocking a huge hole in the side wall of the museum), notable differences between how we handle artefacts and how the Russians handle them (the landing pods are full of asbestos so we have them behind glass. The Russians don’t have them on general public display – to see them you have to apply for special documentation and should you receive it, you can walk right up and touch them). He was fabulous. The whole exhibition was a delight.
Another cultural outing was to trendy East London to see my flatmate’s gig – “Over 100 singers, beatboxers and performance artists create a space-themed carnival spectacular at Oval Space, East London. With DJ sets from William Serfass (Roscius) and Strong Asian Mothers – playing twisted galactic pop, big nasty alien beats and sexy old school hip-hop until 2am” – quite different from my usual weekend evenings. I took my friend Lisbet along, as she works in the music industry and we meandered to Oval Space, where it became apparent that we were definitely not that cool. There was strobe lighting, people with facial glitter, grime music – the works. My flatmate and her choir were excellent – absolutely not the music or arrangement that I’d expected – and it was such fun. Not my kind of thing by a long shot, but it’s important to try new experiences.
I don’t travel a lot for work, but this year I will be on the move quite a bit and I finally organised a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. I’m slightly ashamed of how long it took me to do this. This should save me a little bit of unnecessary outgoings.
Over Easter I was at Home in Northern Ireland and spent hours sitting in a sunbeam with the cat on my knee, a book in my hand and coffee by my side. I spoke to very few people, turned my phone off and enjoyed giving my brain a rest.
Not such great adulting:
I did no hostessing at all in March. I’m thinking I should make a conscious effort to hostess once a month. I did bring tupperwares of a meal to a friend, but that doesn’t even nearly count.
See previous month.
If anything, I added to the list, rather than completed anything.