I’d love to say I’m easing myself slowly back into my life.
But I’ve always been an extremist, and I doubt that’s ever going to change. This four (and a half, yay for annual leave) day weekend I did ALL THE THINGS with ALL THE PEOPLE and it was fantastic. I’m exhausted, and in my overdraft, but it was completely worth it
Friday afternoon was the Creative Quarter’s first birthday picnic. Considering the weather was all over the place at the weekend, we were lucky that it was sunny for that! I got a chance to catch up with a couple of people, and found myself confirming to speak at at least one event (potentially three), so that’s scary but exciting. I’ve already been roped into doing a talk at Google in London in September, so this’ll be good practice. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, but my anxiety has always held me back. I just need a more positive attitude towards it and a lot of planning, and it’ll be fine. It’s too good an opportunity to turn down.
Strawberries and free cake were on the menu…
My friend Hannah came to visit for the weekend, so we just went shopping after the picnic and then chilled out at mine.
On Saturday, we pretended to be proper adults and went to B & Q to get plants. Plants are one of my worst things; despite four very able green-fingered parents between us, Joe and I kill plants constantly. It’s more a case of replacing them when they’re dead than anything else. We did have some success at growing fruit and veg a couple of years ago though, so I bought some more strawberry plants. They’re all still alive 4 days later, so I think I’m on to a winner here The guy at the checkout also confessed to killing a cactus, which made me feel a lot better about killing 4 spider plants (winning by losing, yay).
We dropped the plants off at my house and then dashed out in the rain to the local cake decorating shop, which was doing a demo of cake lace. Cake lace is amazing and I keep meaning to invest in all the stuff, but I just haven’t had the money or space to store it. They’d mentioned something about free cake on Facebook (second day of free cake – yay), but when we got there we found a whole host of party food and drinks. They even had non-alcoholic wine, which was suprisingly nice. And their usual fabulous cakes on display:
I was very restrained and only bought a couple of cheap things – a box of mushrooms for the Mario Kart themed cupcakes I’m making soon, and a star stencil I’ve wanted for ages but couldn’t justify buying (£15.99 for a small sheet of thin plastic?!). I found a couple with ripped packaging in the clearance bit and picked up one for £5; still expensive, but a lot more reasonable.
And there was a free goody bag:
After that we dashed back home to pick up the car and drive to Derby, where we were picking up one of my work friends to go to the theatre. We saw a local production of Avenue Q, featuring one of our other friends, and it was funny and sweet and endearing in equal measures. Super blurry photo because my phone camera didn’t have a chance to focus before the lights went down, but it’s kind of arty:
Then after that we had a delicious meal at an Italian place (4 main meals between the three of us because we decided to get a whole pizza as a side!) and then it was time to drive back home and collapse on the sofa.
On Sunday we ended up going shopping in town again. I feel a bit shallow because for the first time in years I’m more obsessed with clothes than anything else (normally it’s photography stuff, computer games and books), but it’s all part of finding (or re-finding?) myself. I was always very fixed on who I was and what I liked, but at the beginning of the year, when I lost myself, that all changed. I’m still figuring out what I actually like (rather than what people tell me I should like), and I try to pick out at least one thing I would never normally wear to see what it looks like. There’s been some hilarious moments as a result, but I’ve been slowly moving away from my usual jeans, Skechers and t-shirts combos. I’ve also been buying a lot more in the way of skirts and dresses, in the hope that the weather will get good enough again to wear them. I feel like a different person, and whilst I’m still fully working out who that person is, I like her and understand her a lot more than the crazy girl from the past year. So maybe it’s not as shallow as I first thought. Also, everyone needs two pairs of Marvel pyjamas, right?
After shopping, we’d planned to go to the luminarium (a gorgeous light display thing), but the queue was crazily long and so we sat by the lake and had a mini-picnic in the sun instead.
Then we went home with the intention of crashing, but my housemate had a load of our friends over, so we ended up sorting the plants, gaming, chatting and generally just having a laugh.
On Monday we got the train to Sheffield for a day of even more shopping (books instead of clothes this time!) and lunch and a coffee with two of our old college friends, which was fab. Then we got the train back and went straight to the luminarium.
Me trying to remember how to use my camera:
It was fantastic, and definitely worth doing…I’ll upload my photos to Flickr when I get a chance.
Phew! Back to reality today, and I have a lot to catch up on! Even though I felt massively overwhelmed as soon as I sat down at my desk this morning, I’m concentrating on one task at a time and ploughing though. I’ve made a mega list of things, and they’ll take as long as they take. I just feel so much happier having done lots of stuff with people I care about a lot, and not overthinking or worrying for a change. I’m definitely building up a good foundation; I still have a long way to go, but overall it’s looking positive