Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was bicycle & tricycle related. I came home from work to find my housemates Kate and Dave outside in the sunshine fixing Kate's new Pashley bicycle. I brought my bike out and they helped me fix the puncture on the back tyre, and then we realised that the square bicycle basket that came with Kate's bike, but that she was no longer using, would look *perfect* on the back of my trike. I've been looking for a box or crate to put on the trike for a while, and this wicker basket was just the thing. So Dave cable tied that on to the tricycle for me whilst I went inside to get tea and cake for us to have in the sunshine. Whilst I was inside I saw I had some post, and it was this gorgeous bicycle necklace I treated myself to last week.

Then I went out on my tricycle on a glass bottle retrieval mission. At the weekend, on my way between various places, I had spotted several bags of empty beer bottles (mix of green and brown, different sizes) dumped on a patch of grass by the wayside. This was just what I needed, as I am collecting beer bottles to put round the edge of my vegetable patches to create a border, but I drink bottled beer so infrequently that it was taking forever to collect enough. So me and my trike not only helped clean up a local green spot, we also got bottles to make my garden even prettier! Then my cycle ride home through the park at night, with PJ Harvey on my headphones, made an amazing end to an already great evening.

The best thing that happened today was noticing the shift of energy in my head that has occured as a result of meeting and engaging with somebody I had admired since my teens and them totally exceeding expectations, with the result of setting my head on fire with ideas and potentials.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was writing for two hours with a pen on paper.

I know that this sounds mildly ridiculous to state as my 'best thing' of today, but it was kinda amazing. I do all my work on my computer, but I also know that my huge struggles with procrastination come from the fact that I'm on my computer... "ooh, I'll just check my emails", "ooh, I'll just nip onto facebook", "ooh, I'll just read some blogs", and before I know it I've passed hours away that I was meant to be spending writing.

So tonight I took myself away from the computer, with a notebook and pen, and was *so* productive. Yes, I ended those two hours with cramp in my hand from feverishly writing, and a swollen finger from gripping the pen to hard, and resting it on that finger (I am clearly hella out of practice), but I got so much done that it's almost a relief.

It's odd, at the time of me being at school I spent all my time writing by hand, as it was only by my second year at University that people got computers, and that typed assignments were required to be submitted over hand-written ones. I used to write reams and reams by hand. And it's alarming now to know just how overwhelming the use of word-processing is in my life; from everything from to-do lists, to zines, to letters, to writing articles and chapters for publication.

It felt so good today to break free from the worryingly obsessive cycle of procrastination and return to my hardworking luddite roots!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The best thing that happened today? Wearing bare legs, knee socks and a dress out the house after dark because it is SPRINGTIME.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was cycling home really fast in the dark, after hand delivering a letter, when "K Klass Kisschase" by Heavenly came on my headphones. When the cowbells kicked in I felt like I was in a really fun race, and best of all I felt like I was winning.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was going for a walk with one of my friends, spilling my heart out, having a smoothie, and then buying lemonbalm, mint, rosemary and this plant that looks like a spiderplant (but with black leaves) from a lovely, hidden away outdoorsy plant nursery we discovered near Meanwood. I've been trying to beg a rosemary cutting for weeks so it's good to finally have my own little plant :) We then went back to hers for tea, and ended up painting the kitchen, and I am now safely cocooned back at home, paintstained but happy, and with new plants.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was reading somebody's passion. For the most part, [partly due to medication that numbs my ability to emote, and partly due to the loss of the fiercest communicators I knew (due to geographical distance)], I have been lacking a lot of passionate influence in my life; people who opine with fervour about that which is important to them/me/us, and spark a fire in my brain that makes me engage with the world and people, and importantly, the thinking part of my brain.

Today I read a blog post that not only put a lot of this into perspective for me (does spending so much time working/working online and less time engaging face to face have something to do with my decrease in passionate connection with ideas, &/or my current lack of opinion? Where did my fire for seeking out new obsession and interests go?), but in its very wording it also evoked an understanding in me.
Tobi's writing, her intelligent passionate thoughts, views, and communication identified with something inside me that had been lacking - a sense of hearing somebody speak with an understanding and with a sensibility that I couldn't help *but* be moved by.

So much in my life these days has become day-to-day, mundane, scripted, unadventurous, conservative, pedestrian (due in part to medication, and due to those things I do/don't socially participate in (anymore)), so much so that I bore myself. It never used to be this way. I needed that shot of passion, and enthusiasm, and wish to make things known, to remind me of who I am. To feel present. For a moment I had caught myself not giving a damn - on a mindless plateau, and I'm realising with help from enthusiasm, strong inteligent opinion and well crafted discussion by others that I'm not satisfied.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was being given a pear to take to work with me. I carried it in my bicycle basket so it didn't get squashed in my bag, and then when I ate it, it tasted amazing. I don't usually eat pears as they are so hard to transport and I get so disappointed when they are all squashed with broken skin, but this one tasted so incredible that I nearly shared the information with my colleagues, but managed to just settle for texting the person who gave it to me, vowing to diligently record it when I got home as the best thing that happened today.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was getting home from spending 48 hours solid running a Brownie Guide pack holiday, and finally having time and space to myself. I had a bath, listened to music, made some food, had some wine and worried that when I have children of my own this "luxury" of time to myself, to spend as I wish, will be a lot harder to come by.

I say "when" I have children... it's something I have been thinking about for a while, but the issue seems to have been brought into focus over the past two days. Aside from the many hours I spent looking after 25+ girls, in various stages of over-excitability, tearfulness, happiness, moodiness (one leader joked the experience was 'a great contraceptive' and I misheard and thought she was talking about the muffin she was eating...) I also seemed to have countless conversations about one day having children of my own,including conversation with one Brownie who asked if I wanted kids (yes), and if I had a boyfriend (no), and if I wanted a boyfriend (not really), so how was I going to to do it, was I going to do "IT" and then dump the boy? (no, I don't think that's very responsible!) which led on to her suggesting that I could foster her if I wanted, as her younger sister was too annoying.

I struggle sometimes when the Brownies ask me personal question like that, not because I feel they shouldn't but because I am not sure how to respond, how honest to be. Given that I cannot answer "well, I would like to meet a nice man, get married and have two children (girl and a boy)", doesn't mean I should necessarily tell them about the myriad possibilities I am considering, from adoption right through to radical co-parenting (currently being trialled on my two cats and me plus two housemates)... so I try and answer honestly, without over-sharing, and be a good alternative role model without giving information that is inappropriate either for their age, or the relationship I have with them.
But it's certainly making me think, and realise that it's no longer enough to say "yes I would like to have children" as the lifestyle I am currently living is making it very unlikely that it's going to happen without a great deal of forward-planning/coercion/sacrifice.
The best thing that happened today wasn't necessarily working my ass off on 101 different zine and writing projects, but that in doing so I put some albums on to work along to that I hadn't listened to forever (sometimes I ban myself from listening to certain music or albums all the time, as I don't want to wear them thin, hear them too much, and/or spoil their impact with over-familiarity).
I've just been re-seduced by Lou Barlow, pumped by The Need, and fallen in love with Heartless Martin, & Longstocking all over again.
I love that feeling of re-remembering why you fell in love in the first place; it's unbelievably comforting to know that when all else is stressy and messy you can still trust yourself to know what you like(d).

Friday, 13 March 2009

The best thing that happened today is that I curbed my usual impatience with my sewing machine when it fucks up. When it's not playing ball I usually give up and hand-sew whatever project I was in the midst of. Today though I didn't threaten to throw the unrelaible machine through the window rock-star-like, but instead spent the time dealing with the problem, fixing it and rustling up all the mothers' day gifts I was crafting; meaning that I've now finished the gifts ahead of time. That's one thing crossed off my staggering to-do list. Phew!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was reading the March 11th blog post of Keri Smith's blog, and it calming my frazzled, overworked, stressed, and panicky head for a moment while I bathed in its sense, honesty, and relate-ability.

This paragraph in particular jumped at me, screaming for attention, and for me to take its ideas seriously:

I suppose the lesson is that no matter what level of a career you reach, this process [of reassessing confidences] will always repeat itself. You think once you get to a certain stage everything will take care of itself and you will not have to deal with all these messy human things. Ironically when reaching a place of strength there exists some strange internal and external pressure to continue to "perform" and at the very least stay where you are. I ponder the thought that I would be perfectly okay if I had to start over from scratch every single day. actually aren't we all doing that anyway?
The best thing that happened today was the time I spent this morning sticking gummed labels (sourced from the “Trees for Life” campaign to restore the Caledonian Forest) over envelopes so they could be re-used. We even have this special device in the office for affixing gummed things, so you don’t have to lick them. It’s a little container of water with a sponge and a mesh on top, and when you tip it upside down enough water to moisten the gum comes out. I really love working here sometimes.

Recycling + stationary + helping more trees grow = joy

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was finally seeing the opening episodes of season 6 of The L Word (and not being too horrifically disappointed) and then also managing to bike all the way home, even up the hills.
The best thing that happened today is that after trawling all over yesterday to buy a photo/picture frame of what I now understand to be an odd size, I knuckled down today and just made one instead. It felt good to get busy with my hands again, crafting.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was getting to the end of a pretty hard week, and at the Contemporary Artists Book fair that was occuring at my place of work I bought myself something beautiful to look at — to make myself feel better. You know, just something nice and uncomplicated and non-personal-to-me. That's the ticket.
Speaking to Karoline Rerrie at the fair did me wonders too!

Friday, 6 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was my next-door-but-one neighbours giving me a massive packet of dates whilst I was gardening earlier. This is made even better by the fact that this is the second time they have given me dates. And I really like dates. So we took them round a jar of my housemate Kate's homemade marmalade as a thank you.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was my super-productive lunch hour.

I went to an "International Women's Day" event, and whilst I was there I had a piece of cake, and got a free "crystal dip" therapy where I had to put my hand into a bag of tumblestones and pick one that spoke to me but without looking at them. I picked rose quartz, which the lady told me suggests I maybe need to spend time taking care of myself/ nurturing/ healing/ unconditional-self-loving, which in turn will bring these things towards me from other people. This was so totally right, and nothing could have been more accurate (literally, nothing) and it seemed like the universe was sending me such a blatant sign to confirm what I had been suspecting already, that I bought a piece of rose quartz to carry around with me to remind me of this. It is in my pocket now.

Still at the same event, I chatted to another stallholder (feminist flyers and leaflets and posters) I recognised from other feminist events, who I had always been slightly wary of due to the generational gaps between her and my feminism (1st wave/3rd wave) and the issues that often spring up when the two try and discuss issues/meet in the middle. But I was bold and introduced myself, and said I recognised her, and was talking to her about posters and flyers that would be good for politicising the spaces we often use for events. And she was so helpful, suggesting websites I could order resources from, posters that were free to print off that I came away feeling totally psyched.

I then still had time to drop off posters and flyers at the record shop for an upcoming gig I am playing/organising, picked up a copy of a zine I hadn't see before that looked pretty good, before coming back to the office for homemade soup that my housemate had saved for me from the night before.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was going digging in my garden when I got in from work. I have decided to turn part of my back lawn into vegetable patches, and mid-winter I had worked out that they would need to be ready for March to start planting things.
Realising that it was already the 4th March, and there are garlic bulbs that need planting NOW and I don't have a vegetable patch yet, I spent a very happy hour digging in the gloaming, before coming in to cook my tea. In fact I enjoyed digging so much that I am considering getting up early tomorrow to fit in some more digging before work. No joke. The patch does need finishing after all.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was finding my watch, which had fallen down the back of the microwave. It had been missing for a number of months, which wouldn't be so bad only my other watch is also missing, so I often don't know what time it is. It's a digital watch, and I'm not very good at programming it, so it's still an hour out from when the clocks went back in October. This means that the alarm that I accidentally set to go off at midnight every night, and couldn't work out how to switch off, now goes off at eleven every night. But it just so happens that at 11pm this evening I was stood in front of the microwave when I heard the beeping, so I found out where it was! Now all I have to do it get it to show the right time.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The best thing that happened today was completely unexpected, which is what made it so lovely. I am suffering an *epic* hangover, exacerbated by a lack of sleep (an hour's worth, on a rail replacement bus service, at 5am this morning) and memories of drunken conversations that I can't resolve and a heart that hurts every time someone prods it, and I had to leave the house after an already hectic day because we had run out of catfood.
On my way out, on the doormat, I found a hand-delivered envelope addressed to me. It was a note, with the words "THANK YOU EMILY" written in big letters and then in smaller letters is said "thank you for having me over last tuesday, your pancakes were great". For a day that was looking to be a complete write-off, I now feel slightly cheered up. Never doubt the pleasure someone will get from receiving an unexpected letter.