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Sorry people. I feel a little like death warmed up, so this will be short.

  • The heading to this post will give you a clue – I have a cold sore. Thing is, I generally don’t get cold sores unless the body is VERY. RUN. DOWN. And I am feeling very run down. The ‘feel-like-you’ve-been-swimming-the-English-Channel-in-a-heavy-cotton-floor-length-nightgown-and-you’re-a-lousy-swimmer-to-begin-with-so-what-possessed-you-to-do-this-?’ sort of run down. And I can’t quite understand why. I mean, looking at my life, I have it easy. So… why?
  • Part of it, I think, was the process of going to the interview last week. That was a big deal because I broke my glass ceiling. The getting down and just doing it took a lot more out of me than I thought. I’m thinking that 15 years ago my anxiety would explode there and then, and I’d be done with it once I’d recovered from the fright-flight-freeze response. Now, my anxiety seems to implode and I get a cold sore (because run down body) a week later. Nice, eh? Still… exploding is harder to deal with than imploding, so I’ll take the cold sore. (As long as I can moan about it too!)
  • Perhaps I should elaborate on the ‘glass ceiling’. Things have shifted since the interview in that stuff doesn’t feel as scary anymore. Sure, I might have an anxious response to some things, but it feels more do-able now. Like I can manage somehow. And that’s a good thing. (Either that, or I’m just numb. Too tired to care, in a way.)
  • Also, I haven’t heard anything back about a possible interview as yet, nor am I too concerned about it. I’m still in two minds about whether or not full time work is right for me. I suspect it is not, and a 32 hour work week would be better. Part time work could also be an option.
  • I’m also finding that, although I do enjoy instructional design, I like learning and making more. The idea of giving up time to do full time work, that could otherwise be spent on making, is depressing. Which tells me something. Perhaps the path that leads to making is the path I should be taking… even if it means I’m not earning a salary for quite some time still. I’m just not confident in the next step. But the frustration of not taking a step is all the more annoying. I just… don’t know where to start. But start I must. Somewhere. ANY. WHERE. <sad face> <shrug>
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  • More books! I have acquired more books, of the costuming kind. With the imminent publication of Patterns of Fashion 5 in October (!), I decided that getting my collection of Janet Arnold’s books up to date was in order. And, whilst I was shopping, I found a copy of Elizabeth Friendship’s Creating Historical Cloths.* It’s all so exciting because, besides the obvious glorious exploration of period garment construction, these patterns might just be the perfect size (as is) for doll’s clothing! Right? Right? Look! Look at these beauties!

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  • Sadly, I haven’t had the time to start my course in doll making because things escalated rather quickly this week! The applying for a position turned into an interview with a senior consultant from the recruitment agency who placed the advert. Whilst the interview went well, I am having feelings about it all. What if I do get to the point where I’m offered full time employment? Then what? There would be things to organise, is what! There are the practical matters, mostly revolving around managing a household and seeing to a little person’s needs, that would require some rearranging. I know in my heart of hearts that it’s all perfectly do-able… I’m just… hesitant… because… it feels like a lot of pressure to perform. I honestly don’t know if I can do it all. It would, of course, be an interesting test to see how we manage our household and our relationships if I were to go back to school. I suppose, if we can manage me working full time, we can manage me going back to school. Either way, I’d be absent. Unavailable. And that, somehow, leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. Like I’m somehow… failing as a caregiver…?
  • I’m also feeling uneasy about the things I’d have to give up if I return to full time work – things like the happy socialising with friends at school pickup whilst Sophia enjoys some play time on the school grounds, or the luxury of time to consider the making of things, as well as the actual making of things. I have so many sewing projects in the pipeline, a doll making course to do… all the museums I want to visit (but don’t…). What if there’s no time and energy for that if I go back to full time work? It makes me a little sad.
  • Of course, there’s the upside to being employed – one earns a salary** and one can do good work. Both build the self-esteem and a sense of purpose and value and all those good things. (I mean, there’s nothing to say that I will get full time work. We’re in the ‘submit CV to client, wait to hear if they’d like to interview me’ stage with this application. Still. I’m strangely apprehensive about it all. I thought I’d be a lot more… well… excited.)
  • I am patting myself on the back a little though. Because, once I’d agreed to the interview, I was able to observe my anxiety instead of being overwhelmed by it. Make no mistake, there was the tightness of chest that needed purposeful breathing to relax, and there was the urge to cancel because the idea of going into Wellington on the train, by myself, and then walking to the recruitment agency’s office was very big. Like, scary big. But I did it. Russell helped me with directions, I had a look see on Google Maps to get a sense of the place, and I prepared the best I could. And then I did it.  Buster Moon*** is right.

Buster: Meena, what’s wrong? Are you okay?

Meena: I… I can’t move. I’m… I’m terrified.

Buster: Give me your hand, kid. Okay, deep breaths. Deep breaths, and remember what I told you. You will not feel afraid anymore if you just start singing.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m moving beyond my anxiety and panic enough. Enough to show up in the world. And that’s… encouraging? ****

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* Of course, now that I have this book, I want the other books authored by Elizabeth Friendship – Pattern Cutting for Men’s Costume and Making Working Women’s Costume – Patterns for Clothes from the Mid-15th to Mid-20th Centuries. Because it’s all so interesting.

**  which in turn makes the possibility of (a) accumulating enough pennies for a deposit on a house and (b) going back to school, without worrying about student fees, more real.

*** Buster Moon – the koala in Sing?

**** Russell tells me I’ve understated this experience. And I suppose I have. It was harder than I make it out to be… and that’s the point. I’m tired. Managing anxiety is hard, but it is worth it. I’m starting to understand how my experience of anxiety now is very different to my experience of it 15 years ago. Very different. It’s almost bearable now.

  • I was so wrapped up in writing a covering letter for a job application that I almost forgot today is Friday, and therefore blogging day. Sorry. It is done now – the job application, I mean. My general feeling is one of “Yes, I can do this job and I can do it well.”, and yet there’s the sense of “Let it out into the world, but don’t get your hopes up too high.” Yes, I decided to apply for positions for instructional designers. Mostly because I still find the work of vocational training to be fascinating. And why not? Why not earn some pennies whilst I figure out where to from here?
  • Do I still want to go into costume design? Sure. But it seems like such a lofty idea that I can’t picture myself doing it… not yet. There are *so* many people doing *amazing* costume design. I’m a little terrified of putting my work out there because… well… they’ve got skills! Me… not so much.
  • I can tell you though, I’m working on making some more medieval clothing for Sophia. Just a cloak this time. I hope she likes it. I have grand plans of doing some embroidery around the edges. That would be nice. And I might make me a Kappa (a Sweddish Viking women’s kaftan jacket type thing). And Russell would like a Birka kaftan. So… plenty of opportunity to practice.
  • Other than that, I went a little crazy buying patterns. Because I actually found two patterns for rather lovely dresses, with side pockets (!), and in a plus size (i.e. the pattern includes sizing for a DD cup size). This is amazing because most commercial patterns for women are drafted assuming you’re a B cup. And thin. I am not these things, people. No. I am not.
  • Other than that, I’m going to curl up on the bed for half an hour. Because I am *very tired*. I really don’t do well on six hours sleep.

 

 

  • You know how when you were in primary school? (Or was it high school? I forget. It doesn’t matter. Anyway. So.) Remember how the PE teacher thought it would be fun to do an obstacle course? But you, being awkward in body, struggled with the climbing of things… because no upper body strength? You kinda just dangled at the bottom of the rope, looking up? Arms screaming with fatigue? That feeling of trying so hard, but getting absolutely  no where? Yeah. That feeling. That’s my worldview for this week. I. AM. TIRED.
  • I took Sophia into town on Tuesday*. It was not fun. Not for me anyway. Sophia was fine, fabulous actually. Me, no. Not so much. My sympathetic nervous system was shot by bed time. I don’t feel up to going into the minutia of what happened, because that requires energy I simply don’t have. But, needless to say, looking at it in hindsight, it was nothing serious. Except it felt very serious at the time, and the body believed it was in the throws of death! It wasn’t. Really. It wasn’t. It just felt like it was. Bloody body. ANYway. I’d like to end this point on a positive note saying: ‘Yay, I went into the center of town with Sophia, and I didn’t die.’
  • I’ve spent time on low-key, does-not-require-much-brain activities for much of the week – like sorting LEGO. Or rather, making copies of all the part lists because I want to inventory all the LEGO before it gets sorted. Why, God, do I do this to myself? (Because you like order, little one. Because you like order. Yup.)
  • On the up side. You know how I put off doing the #52recipes thing because we’re trying (very hard… so very hard…)** to follow the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program? Turns out I skipped a few recipes last time I followed the program in 2015. So here’s three contributions to my 52 recipes:
    • Paleo Chicken Schnitzel with Sweet Potato Fries – sweet potato fries are now a thing in our household. And Brussels sprouts are actually kinda okay if you drown them in a cheese sauce.
    • Juicy Jerk Chicken with Easy Slaw – ground allspice and cinnamon make a remarkably good rub for roasting chicken. Positively medieval. ***
    • One-Pan Sweet Potato + Quinoa Pilaf – happiness in a bowl. Easy to prepare and very nom nom.
  • Last week I bleated on about my feeling like I need to brush up on my skills with tools frequently used by instructional designers if I’m ever going to feel confident enough to apply for jobs in that area. Turns our Udemy had a sale on, so I bought me some tutoring on Articulate Storyline and Acrobate InDesign. Boom. Sorted. Now I just needs to get some trial software and I can start putting together a course of some kind. Maybe something in costume design? <eyes sparkling> Ooooooh.
  • There’s a lot of things coming into my life that encourage the making of textiles and/ or clothing, and it is good. Hopefully, if the stars align, I shall be collecting a loom this weekend. And another spinning wheel. Can you imagine it? Sophia and I, sitting in the sun, spinning on our spinning wheels. I like it.

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* because we’ve signed her up for extra math lessons

** except we’re not. I blame I Love Baking’s Ginger Ninja Cookies. They’re so good.

*** I mean that in a nice way. English medieval cooking uses a lot of spices on meat. It’s weird by modern western cooking convention, but tasty.

  • I am having a pyjama day. Mostly because it’s 11:30am and I’m still in my pyjamas. And I’m still in my pyjamas because I have a splitting headache and I was in bed up until 10 minutes ago when I decided that writing a blog in my mind is not actually writing a blog. (Did you notice how I justified being in my pyjamas at 11:30am? Did you see how I did that? See how I don’t do well with ‘taking some time out for myself’? It’s bloody annoying.)
  • Anyway. On the subject of being productive, my making room has exploded because the Great LEGO Codification has begun again. I went into this project with little or no idea as to how it should be done, I just knew I wanted to (a). do a inventory so that lost or broken pieces could be replaced and (b). organise pieces to allow for happy building. I’ve decided to focus on (a). for now. This means making a copy of the parts list for each set. We have a lot of sets. Copying alone will take a while, which is why there are files and instruction booklets all over my work table. At least I’ve sorted folders to put in all the lists once they’re copied. Right?
  • Sophia inherited my old smartphone, mostly because I decided to give her access to ChoreMonster and RoosterMoney. I’m trying to teach her life skills people, but using a smartphone to do it is tricky. Rules (that we both agreed to) have been put in place, but still. I have concerns. It’s so easy to phub* people around you… and the internet is such a big place filled with nice and (very definitely) not so nice content and/or people. <biting lip>
  • It seems I’m back to square one when it comes to whether or not I go back to work as a instructional designer. A conversation about SharePoint and knowledge management turned into a conversation about how adults learn. And I got quite passionate about it, which was a little surprising to me considering how I’d written it off as a career. I’m beginning to see that it’s not so much a lack of enthusiasm for education that holds me back when looking at job ads, it’s a lack of confidence in my ability to use specific tools common to the industry. But you know, I could probably sort that out fairly easily. I could. Probably. <more biting of lip>
  • This week has had some highlights. Nothing terribly exciting or life changing (I don’t think), just… nice.
    • I had lunch with a friend in celebration of her birthday. Besides spending sometime in a happy eatery** with one of my favourite people, it was good to know that I got there all by myself. It’s a slow process, this whittling away at the anxiety evoked by going to new places. But it’s happening. And that is good.
    • I arranged a play date for Sophia, and spent a good 45 minutes having a lovely chat over tea ‘n biscuits with little person’s mum. It was very easy to talk to her. And it was nice seeing Sophia play so nicely. So yes, just nice… enough to give you the warm fuzzies and cheesy smiles at the thought of it all.
    • I am going to learn how to make dolls, and their costumes. It’s an online course, so it’s very much dependent on me making the space and time for the learning, but that’s totally do-able. It is exciting! You know how you decide to do a thing and you have feelings about how it could propel you into something else? Yes. That. That kind of exciting.

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* the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a smartphone

** that reminded me, rather fondly, of my dad’s various greengrocer, convenience store and/ or take-away shops and how he’d work the till or run around madly packing shelves or chatting to customers. He was also so… social.

  • I found a box in the corner of my cupboard. It holds all of my journals. It turns out, I’ve written in a journal, on and off, since 1993. That’s a good 25 years. I hadn’t realised it, but it looks like the wheels started coming off (badly) when I was around 18 years old. It stings, reading the entries. I was so brutally honest in my writing. So much turmoil. So much.
  • I was angry for a time this week. Because frustration. 25 bloody years dealing with depression and/ or anxiety. And still, I work with it. Still. (If you’d asked me four years ago how I felt about my history of mental illness, I’d tell you I saw it as a gift because it’s created so many opportunities for me to understand myself better. And that is still true, in a way. I’m just… tired. So bone-aching tired of it all… especially now that I can see how much smaller it makes my world.)
  • And I do wonder how my mental illness has impacted on my closest friendships and/ or romantic relationships over the years. Especially during the times when I’d withdraw into myself (for what felt like a very long time). I imagine it’s hard being on the outside watching, not knowing what to do to make things better. I’m sorry it turned out that way, but thank you for hanging around. (Actually, I’m a little amazed at how many people did stick around, especially considering I did a very good job of pushing them away. Because pain. So much inexplicable, indescribable pain. And yet, they stayed. That’s… quite something.)
  • An astrology chart reading from 2004 was ‘interesting’. “For some reason you haven’t manifested the vast amounts of potential you came into this life with which tells me it was somehow suppressed during childhood. It’s not necessarily something bad or extreme that happened, I think it’s more like you were too protected or maybe shielded from events that were supposed to develop your strength and courage,” it says. “Your chart very definitely shows deep reserves of energy and the fact that you feel tired so often can only mean something is draining you. It could be the fear.” It seems not much has changed in 14 years.
  • But let’s finish this on a happier note from 2009: “Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.” Small steps, ‘nita. Small steps. As long as you’re moving forward – that’s progress.

The truth be known, I’m feeling a little rubbish today. This post will be short. Probably.

  • So, you know how I do the #52recipes thing – explore my cookbooks and/ or online food blogs and cook a new recipe a week for 52 weeks with the intention of broadening my cooking skills as well as adding to our repertoire of go-to dishes?Well. I love doing this, but we’re going to take a break from it for the next eight weeks or so. We’re repeating the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Programme, see. As I’ve cooked (most of?) the dishes before, I don’t feel I can claim them as a #52recipe thing. (Unless I skipped a recipe the last time we did this in 2015. In which case, I’m so claiming it as a #52recipe attempt.)
  • So, why the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Programme? Because it’s a ready-made eating plan and shopping list for the next 8 weeks. (Read: I don’t have to think about menu planning for a while. It’s a big mental load off my shoulders.) And it’s time we got back into the habit of cooking everyday. And eating whole foods. And yes. Okay. I admit it. We’re looking to lose some weight. (I have issues with loosing weight because it feels like I’m giving into cultural and/ or societal expectations of how I ‘must’ present myself and how I ‘should’ move through the world. And yet. It would be nice to find a warm jacket that can accommodate my bust measurement. And I do feel better when I eat a more vegetable and protein-based diet… and… yes, I know. It’ll be better for me generally. But still. Society and its demands, you know?)
  • Interestingly enough, when cooking the last recipe I claimed as a #52recipe thing, the ‘Champignons en pasté’ (Mushroom Pasties) from Le Ménagier de Paris (a late 14th century manuscript), it led to a messy conversation with Russell about our playing the SCA game here in New Zealand. We were meant to go to a gathering later in the afternoon, but Russell just didn’t seem up to it. At first I put it down to him being tired post-hockey game but as we continued the conversation, we realised we’re hesitating – we want to play, but we don’t. Not really. I put it forward that meeting new people is hard enough as it is*, and integrating yourself into a new group is harder still**. Sure. This is true for us. But it still stands – we won’t become part of the group unless we show up, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • More conversation, and then the penny dropped. We’re still so invested in what’s happening to the SCA groups in South Africa, and that makes starting something new in New Zealand difficult. It feels like we’re trying to start a new relationship but we’re still hung up on what’s happening to our ex! <shrug> It’s understandable, of course – we invested so much time, energy, hope, and work into the game in South Africa… to see it faltering makes it harder to let go. But… let go we must. If we’re to be fully present in playing the game here, we do need to let go of playing the game there. <sad face> (I do need to stress though, letting go of our attachment to the shires in South Africa does not mean we let go of our attachment to the people with whom we played the game. Because they’re our friends. And we love our friends… even if they are 10 hours behind and very far away!)
  • It’s small(ish) revelations like these that make you sink into the realisation that moving country means things*** end. Despite your not necessarily wanting things to end, they inevitably have to. Otherwise one never settles. One never puts down solid roots. Because your heart is somewhere else. I finding there’s more and more that I’m ending. Because I can’t fully start this new thing that is living in New Zealand until I end the chapter that is living in South Africa. I sence I could be a happier, more fulfilled person here than I ever could be in South Africa because the opportunities here are just… different. The urge to simplify, to prune, to weed out, to let go of… it’s strong. The urge to start again, it’s stronger.

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* for people like us who aren’t the outgoing types

**figuring out who does what, remembering names (both period and mundane!), actually talking to people, putting your hand up to do a thing when you’re so uneasy because you’re still so unsure of how things actually work in this new(ish) country…

*** i.e. traditions… habits… relationships…

  • I bought a magazine called ‘Look What We Made‘. It’s a collection of maker stories. By ‘maker’ I mean people who make stuff – hatters and brewers, potters and jewelers, textile artists, dressmakers and illustrators, weavers and cobblers. It’s a magazine about creative folk doing what they love best. And I bought it because it’s a quiet tug, a pull at my mind saying: “If they can do it, why not you?”

The “why not you?” is a big question. I tend to respond with: because it’s so much bigger than me (I can’t imagine myself doing the thing), because I don’t know where to start… because I can’t be sure that I’d earn an income from it… because growing up my father said “No, you can’t do that.” so many times I eventually stopped asking. (He had his reasons. I get it. I didn’t like the reasons (still don’t), but I appreciate said reasons made sense to him and directed his decisions… and I complied. It’s just a pity it taught me to play it safe. To dream smaller, until I mostly stopped dreaming. And I probably died a little death inside. I’m starting to appreciate how this small death could have been at the centre of my depression all those years ago. It was a mourning of sorts. Yes. That’s feels true.

But now. Now I find myself asking again, and hearing my father’s voice saying, “No, you can’t do that.” And me asking, “But why?”. There’s no answer. There’s no one to tell me I can’t do it now. Except myself. And that, interestingly enough, feels harder to deal with because it’s not about what I learnt as a child anymore. It’s about what I can do as an adult. And that much freedom is downright terrifying.

  • According to Twitter, Elizabeth Gilbert said: “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” The operative word being relentlessly. I’m not very good at relentless participation, but I do recognise it’s necessary. Participation, that is. (The relentless part will come with time.) Starting is the hardest part for me. Just… starting. (Probably because I’m up against the voices in my head telling me I can’t (or shouldn’t!) do the thing.)
  • Russell was away in Auckland for work for three days, so I had to take care of all the things. Which was surprisingly empowering. I even drove (All. By. My. Self.) to a shopping centre we don’t frequent often (as part of the exposure therapy). And I didn’t freak out. At all. I actually felt quite… grounded. Like, yeah. I can do this.
  • Part of being able to take care of all the things is largely about me feeling like I have enough time to do all the things, so I’ve started getting up at 6am (just an hour earlier, but still). The morning ritual is starting to take shape. There’s nothing definite yet, but I am paying attention to what I’m doing (drink a glass of water… make a cup of tea… start breakfast… make Sophia’s lunch… all the while there are lots of thoughts popping into brain… make a note of thoughts… a shape for the day forms…) It feels nice, this easing into the day.
  • I, rather randomly, came across another human being who plays Love Nikki Dress Up Queen, and I love what she does with it. She writes microfiction, and uses a dress up from Love Nikki as part of the story. Nice. Maybe I could do something similar… or make dolls’ clothing based on a Love Nikki dress up. Interesting. These thoughts. It’s nice to actually be having these thoughts. To feel more… open. Grounded?

 

 

 

The thing about doing the work that is making yourself whole is that it tends to unravel your life. And it can become front and centre to everyday living. (Not in a way that makes you vex about ‘stitching yourself back together again’, but in a way that means you’re processing emotions that surface or you’re working to integrate new ways of thinking, and possibly being. This can make the body very tired. And the spirit cranky.)

It’s hard sometimes. And I feel like a lot of what I’m writing about in these blogs sounds like me whining. And that gets old quickly. (Not so much in the sense that I don’t think people want to read about it (because they’ve told me they do and they appreciate knowing what’s going on in my life, even if it isn’t always pretty), but more in the sense that I’m tired of talking about it.)

You know how sometimes you feel like you just want to withdraw for a while, do the work you feel you need to do, and then return to the world when you’re in a better position to deal with mundane life and/ or other humans? Yeah. That feeling. That’s where I’m at at the moment. Maybe it’s Matariki*, maybe it’s the Winter Solstice/ Yule** vibe, or maybe it’s just me needing to be quiet. I don’t know.

What does this mean for the blog? I’m not sure. For now, maybe it means you’ll hear from me less… or not… or things will carry on as usual. I don’t know. Let’s see where I’m at next week.

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*Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter and for many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year. It’s a time for remembering the dead, and celebrating new life.

**Yule is the sabbat that begins the Wiccan year. It takes place at the time of the Winter Solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s a celebration of the renewal of life, but compared to other Sabbats it’s a relatively quiet, indoor holiday, as people gather within the warm shelters of their homes and give thanks.

 

 

 

  • This blog post is late. Ooops. Sorry. But, see – there was a flurry of unexpected activity yesterday, so blog writing had to wait! It simply had to. See, we bought a thing. And because we bought a thing, it had consequences, namely the rearranging of furniture across three rooms. Who knew the acquisition of a (very pretty!) desk could lead to so much happy upheaval. I’m excited about this, people. Very excited. I now have a desk on which I can permanently place my notebook computer. This is a hooray moment because it means my big, white desk that was meant to be used for the laying out of fabric (because garment construction!) can once again be used for its intended purpose. I’m amazed at how having a dedicated space for making actually encourages making. I have a space. It is good.
Table

My new little desk. Isn’t she lovely? 🙂

  • Also, bonus treat. The rearranging of furniture to accommodate new little desk has upended stuff, allowing me to rediscover bits ‘n pieces I’d forgotten about. One such treasure is a print that was gifted to me some 15 years ago. It’s entitled Galerie des Rois & Reines de France. Granted, I’m not French, but I do like the impressions of period costume that the print displays. I decided it needed framing, so we popped into The Warehouse. I happened to walk past the clearance shelf, and stopped at a basic white frame. The print in said frame is what drew my attention – a lovely picture of what looks like a thick hedge of bay leaf. I suddenly thought of a weird Alice in Wonderland-ish tea party with elaborate picture frames attached with ribbon to a towering garden hedge. Then I remembered I had some crochet lace tape, and a day later this happened:
Print

I’m a little amazed by how it all came together. This thing called creativity, it’s a fascinating thing, eh. Wow.

  • I had a bit of a flash-intuition-popping-into-brain-by-what-I-call-Spirit this week. You know how I’ve been bleating on about how I’m shit at dressmaking and how I have regrets about stopping my studies in year dot? (Yes, that.) Spirit posed this question: how do you know you’re shit at dressmaking when you’re not actually doing it? I’m mean, seriously. If I do the thing, I might actually surprise myself as to how good I can be at it. Ha. Now that’s a different way of looking at it. Thanks Spirit.
  • Getting angry last week was a good thing because it’s made space. I admit it – I love clothing (not in a ‘must-follow-latest-fashion-trend’ way, but in a ‘oh-wow-this-dress-is-so-cute-that-wearing-it-makes-me-feel-so-happy’ way).* Of course, this has it’s problems because shopping for clothing is difficult. I don’t quite fit into a size 20  anymore (because my bust is 4cm too big), but a size 22 feels too big. So, I find myself contemplating weight loss so that I can fit into ready-made clothing. This does not sit well with me. Loosing weight to conform to what is considered a ‘normal’ shape has never sat well with me. Mostly because it feels too much like changing myself so that I become ‘acceptable’. But what choice do I have, really? I love the clothing. <sad face> Argh.
  • Also, during this week, day two of exposure therapy happened. In order to acquire an aluminium muffin pan**, I had to go to Moore Wilson, which is on a very busy road in Porirua that I’ve never driven on. Ne-ver. Never. So, yes. That was a good three on the Prickly Scale. I’m so glad Russell came with me. He gives good direction. (Expect when he’s pointing out all the places of interest whilst my brain is trying to process the directions to the place I actually want to get to. His “turn right at the next circle” got lost in amongst the “oh, and if you want to go to Countdown, you turn left here and then go round into the parking lot. And there’s Pete’s Emporium if you need thread. North City is just up ahead. There’s the entrance to New World’s parking area.” My brain: “Wait. What. So where am I going now? Where am I? Oh, right. Oh shit, I have to turn right like now!”) I did feel heady once we arrived, on account of not breathing, but that soon sorted itself out after I shook out the prickliness that is adrenaline pumping through your veins. Shopping was fine. (I didn’t buy any cookbooks. So much restraint on my part! (No Russell – a little instruction booklet on how to make butter and yoghurt at home does not count as a cookbook! Although it probably will go in the cookbook library. Because food. Um.) The drive home was a little crazy because I had to get over two lanes of oncoming traffic moving in opposite directions, around lunch hour. I think I’ll just go to the round-about next time. My nerves.

 

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* I mean, I found these shoes that are advertised as being a wide fit and died a little, albeit exhilarated, death.

Symone_1_joe_browns

Pinstripes and rich burgundy velvet make these heels an absolute treat. Bar strap and a soft grey rose finishes the look. A perfect Winter season shoe.

** I have not found pastéis de nata in Wellington. Sure, custard tarts exist here, but they’re more like custard slices. And they’re okay. I guess… Dear god, I miss the deliciously creamy custard centre and crispy pastry that are pastéis de nata. And that slightly burnt bit on the top of the custard. Yeah, I miss that. With hot coffee. And the warmth of a satisfied sigh that is biting into a pastel de nata. So dreamy.

Anyway. I’m going to make my own. Yes. I’m doing this. Hence the need for a aluminium muffin pan (because non-stick pans, apparently, don’t make for heavenly crispy pastry) and two pizza stones (because these babies need a super hot oven, like 270°C at least, filled with radiating heat to create that yummy burnt custard top). I’m smiling just thinking about it.