Hibernation

Bed

“Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

I love Sundays.
Lie ins, Sunday papers, roast dinners, and best of all, a guaranteed day off.
In my wonderful bar job weekend shifts do not exist. We operate on schooldays only, Monday to Friday, term time only, but occasionally we lose a Saturday off to matinee performances and after show parties. It doesn’t happen very often, really we can’t complain, but of course we do. Spending twelve odd hours of your Saturday in a building without any windows can take its toll, particularly when the patrons are self-congratulating lovies celebrating the end of their latest show.

But Sundays, Sundays are for keeps.
After a particularly long week of self-congratulating lovies and serving an overabundance of Cheeky Vimtos, I was determined to dedicate the Sunday just past entirely to relaxation.
There would be none of the essential business of laundry or tidying or all the other things I had been putting off during the working week. No housekeeping to be taken care of, no messages to be run. As much time as was possible was to be spent curled up under a blanket watching chewing gum for the brain, eating anything that could be prepared in under five minutes and drinking my bodyweight in tea. An absolutely perfect way to pass a day off.
The only thing is, that is exactly how I’ve wanted to spend every day of the week since October.

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“No, it’s too cold. I’m not getting up.”

Winter has been long, and dark and very cold, even the snow hasn’t been able maintain a sense of magic for the more than an hour or two before it turns to slush. The last few months have been, atmospherically speaking, miserable. And no amount of tea, chocolate or rum has been enough to medicate me through all the drizzle.
My body is crying out for some vitamin D.

It needs to be Spring by now. It will be March by the end of the week, and March means Spring. I want daffodils! And Cherry Blossoms! And light wash denim back on the highstreet! I hear through the social media grapevine that there’s been a little stretch in the evenings, but working under a theatre for ten hours a day, that doesn’t make much difference to my emotional health.
We’re all tired of Winter by now. Actually, most of us just seem to be tired full stop.
Even my most sickeningly energetic of friends seem to be enjoying the snooze button a little more than usual. I haven’t seen most of them de-robed of hats, scarves and raincoats since Halloween when the pyjama weather set in. Dancing shoes have been gathering dust under the bed, little black dresses have grown threadbare in the wardrobe, our legs have become permanently woolly under tights and double knit socks.
For most of us, nights out have been traded in for box sets and instant hot chocolate. Everyone seems to be dedicating their leisure time to marathon viewings of Breaking Bad and the American version of The Office. Personally, in the last two days I have rewatched the first two series of Sex and the City in their entirety as well as catching up with Girls, Grey’s Anatomy and approximately eight decade-old episodes of ER. I truly believe that I have become more emotionally attached to the fictional characters of Seattle Grace Hospital than I am to any actual flesh and blood people these days.
But I am ready to crawl out of hibernation. I’m tired of being tired. I am ready to climb out from under the covers and shake off the winter. It’s time to get some spring back in my step.

Not Just Another Blank White Page

It has been little over a fortnight since I last put metaphorical pen to paper yet somehow it feels like it’s been decades. I am going to assume that this over-exaggeration of time lapsed is simply another compulsive symptom of becoming a “real” writer – in the same sense that alcoholics count every second that they have been on the wagon, a writer is tormented by every day when all they produce is yet another blank white page.
It would be lovely to blame writers’ block or psychological burnout or other such professional hazards, but I’m afraid to say my absence is due to much simpler, baser reasons – it’s been damn cold this month.
Yes, that’s right, I’m attributing my creative block to brain freeze. All the snow and slush and gale force winds have completely smothered, drowned and blown away every creative notion I might have had.
As well as trying to keep warm, I have had other distractions – work for one. Along with writers’ block and mild alcoholism, one of the greatest threats to a writer’s career is having to balance an actual job alongside it to ensure you can pay rent. But somehow among it all I have found the time to get started on a few of the New Year’s Resolutions I wrote about here a few weeks ago.

Full of goodwill, a friend and I went along to a local drive to give blood for the very first time. I’ve never been particularly squeamish about needles, unlike my father who used to stand facing the wall when I received my boosters as a child, but up until this point I hadn’t even had blood drawn at the doctors more than once. I was a little nervous, but mostly just excited, after all, giving blood is one of those selfless good deeds which really does save strangers’ lives. But as full of good intentions as I happened to be, my body wasn’t quite prepared to cooperate. Whether it the extreme cold or the excessive consumption of Baileys and cheese over the festive period I’m not sure, but my blood decided it was staying put. After squeezing the life out of my bicep to bring forth a vein, a very lovely, very patient nurse, did her best readjusting the needle to find a steady flow but to no avail. My body was having none of it. After producing less than a Martini glass of O Positive my body decided it had done enough for the good of humanity and went faint. It is amazing just how quickly the goodwill can fall right out of you when you find yourself upside down under a full-powered electric fan.
But I had given blood for the very first time, as little as it was in the end, and bonus life experience, I had fainted for the very first time too! It wasn’t on my list of resolutions but hey, two birds one stone!

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Now completely at ease with the idea of needles, and with the bruised inner arm of an intravenous drug user, I was determined to continue on a roll – More holes in my skin!! So in an effort to feel more like a grown up I did what every seven year old girl does with her First Communion money, I got my ears pierced. And none of this pissy gun thing in Claire’s Accessories, I walked into a serious piercing shop where other people were waiting to get holes in their tongue, nipple and various other painful places, and proudly asked a woman with more metal on her than the Golden Gate Bridge, if she would put some little holes in my ear lobes. And the lovely metal woman obliged, giving me an endearing ‘bless your cotton socks’ look I had expected. I even got a sticker.
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In other resolutions news, I have successfully baked two batches of scones by Granny’s foolproof recipe, made what can only be described as an ‘Any Veg Going’ soup and have only been to Tokyou once. Image

I’d say five out thirteen ain’t a bad start by the end of January. Whether I have started as I mean to go remains to be seen.