Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winding down...

This isn't working out, is it? I know it, you know it. I think really we've both known for a long time. I've just been trying not to think about it.

I just need a little more time. Time at least to actually take those photos of the fantastic parcel Zoe sent me. I think I owe you (and her) that much.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Um, is it December already?

It's been so long, I sort of feel like I should have something momentous to say, some sort of big 'ta-da!' But no, I think I'll just slip back in and see if anyone notices!

I will assure you that no, I have not been in early hibernation (I wish!). Life has just kind of taken over since the end of August. Actually that's not quite right - I don't currently have much of a life. Teacher training has taken over, completely. I'm almost half-way through the course now; the last day of term (and also a major essay-deadline) is next Friday and I can't wait. I want to sleep in, take photos, knit, read for pleasure... there are so many things that I want to and I just know I won't be able to fit them all into the three weeks holiday we get, but I'll try! There's also a little something called Christmas that I'm dying to start getting excited about.

I have a huge enormous thankyou to say to Zoe, who sent me a fantastic parcel a couple of weeks ago. Zoe, I know you already know it, but I was absolutely delighted by everything you sent me. It really makes me smile to think that people who have never met will put that much effort into making and sending packages to each other. I'll post some pictures of what she sent as soon as I'm able to find some real daylight in this flat.

Oh, it feels good to be back. Let's see if I can keep this up, eh?

Friday, August 25, 2006

I can't get no satisfaction

I'm having some difficulty with blogging at the minute. I think this may be a symptom of something bigger and I feel like I need a bit of a break to sort out what's going on in my head and in the rest of my life.

I'm having a hard time trying to articulate what exactly is wrong but I think perhaps the word is dissatisfaction. I start teacher training on Monday which means the summer is pretty much over and I just don't feel that I've achieved enough in the time that I've had. At the same time though, I feel guilty for thinking that way because I know that's not really true and that I have actually done a lot in the past couple of months: I've been on a lovely relaxing holiday with Steven, I've graduated, I've read books just because I wanted to, I can knit a little, I've passed my theory test and I can pretty much drive (although I'm not quite ready to take a test yet).

What I'm wondering is whether I always feel like this at the end of the summer - and whether everyone gets this way. The beginning of summer always seems to promise so much - sunshine and happiness and endless free time to do all the things you've been wanting to do for the rest of the year. That puts you under an awful lot of pressure and almost guarantees disappointment if by the end of the summer you've not done everything you'd been dreaming about doing.

Lately I've got a bit dissaffected with my blog, mainly because I don't feel like I'm doing anything that anyone would really be interested in reading about. Other people's blogs often inspire me but at the same time reading them somehow reinforces this feeling. So many of the people whose blogs I read have something specific to write about. I don't have kids, nor will I in the near future, broody as some blogs make me. And much as I'd like to be, I'm not crafty - mainly because at the minute I can't afford the equipment or the materials. (Knitting is a start, but a very very slow one.)

I'm looking forward to starting at Moray House but I am nervous about it too. What if I don't enjoy it? I think I will, but I've heard over and over that this is going to be a very hard year. And even once I'm qualified, it's likely that at some point in the future, provided we're still together, Steven and I will move over to Ireland, where there are currently way more teachers than teaching jobs.

So, like this post, everything's feeling a little disjointed chez me currently. Huh - dissatisfied, dissaffected, disjointed - sounds good, no? I think I need a bit of time to chill out a bit and get settled into everything that comes next. Then maybe my blogging enthusiasm will come back to me.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Steven made us blueberry pancakes this morning. Mmmm!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Enclosed Spaces - week 1

In my head, the perfect self-portrait for this week was going to be of me sitting in front of the computer in the little booth while I took my driving theory test on Tuesday. When I thought it through though, I realised that to take my camera into the test with me would probably constitute cheating and I didn't really want to risk that.

I did pass my theory test though, which I'm very pleased and quite relieved about. I had been having a hard time with the Hazard Perception and in the end I got a higher mark for that part in the test than I ever got practising at home before it.

I took this picture on Wednesday, wasn't totally happy and thought I could improve on it but the week is nearly over and so I'm going to go ahead and post it. Storage space is at a premium in our flat, so our hall cupboard is pretty full (although much less full and much more tidy since Steven cleared it out recently). It's a weird triangular shape because it follows the shape of the tenement stair and it has a cool wee mechanism where the light comes on when you open the door and goes off when you close it again. Our hall cupboard are, among other things: a stepladder, hoover, mop and bucket, painting equipment, shoe polish, walking boots, a tent and lots of screws and allan keys in little plastic boxes (all labelled - Steven is almost as anal as I am about some things). Hardly any of which you can actually see in this photo however, because I couldn't get far enough in there without unpacking the whole thing!

More self portraits here and here.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The sobs that shake the cinema seating

Steven and I went to see The Wind That Shakes the Barley on Saturday night at the Cameo. The Cameo one of my favourite cinemas in Edinburgh; it's fairly small and old and shows lots of foreign and independent films. The place was under threat recently when there were plans to turn it into some kind of 'style bar', but I think those plans have been abandoned now because of the amount of protest from the Cameo-loving public. Which is just as it should be, who needs another style bar when it comes at the cost of losing such a lovely cinema?!

But the film. I haven't cried that hard because of a film since The Green Mile. I was in floods of tears so many times throughout the film and after we'd left the cinema, Steven stopped and hugged me while I just sobbed into his chest. Oy. There were bits I couldn't watch and bits I couldn't not watch, it was brutal and harrowing and terribly sad but really, it was a very very good film. We talked a lot about it on the way home and were in mutual disagreement with the criticism we had read and heard denouncing the film as 'Pro IRA'. I'm not much of a film critic, nor am I an expert on Irish history but I thought that generally what I saw was fairly balanced. Yes, it showed some republican sympathies but to be honest, I'd like to see anyone try to make a historically accurate film that managed to side with those forcibly occupying any country. I imagine that would be very difficult. Have there been any?

I'm not sure I could say I enjoyed The Wind That Shakes the Barley but if you're interested at all in Irish history, I would definitely recommend that you watch it (but take some hankies).

I think our next cinema visit had better be a comedy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Self Portrait As ... - week 4

Self Portrait as ... a swimmer.

Not a competitive swimmer or anything as serious as that. I've always loved swimming - I was a bit of a water-baby when I was little and used to go at least three times a week - two lots of training with the swimming club and once with my family, sometimes more. I stopped going to swimming club when I was about 12 because it got very competitive and everyone else my age was a good bit taller and stronger than I was. After that I swam less and less and by the time I was in the last couple of years of school, I rarely swam at all.

Recently I've started going again because I want the exercise and I'm loving it. I go two or three times a week at about 8.45am, when it's relatively quiet. It's just so relaxing, letting your mind wander as you swim up and down (although I have to admit to being slightly anal and counting the number of lengths I do).

I was a bit late getting to the pool this morning and the big open-space of pool was busy so I slipped into the fast lane and pushed myself hard for 30 lengths. I don't usually swim in the lanes because I find them quite claustrophobic and I don't like the fact that other people are relying on you to keep up the speed. Today though, I quite enjoyed being made to work hard.
What a virtuous start to the day!

More self portraits here and here.