Tag Archives: happythings

A Brief Kate Update: October 2020

Still here. Still going. Finding everything very grey and tiring; I usually love autumn, but I just don’t have any capacity for appreciation this year. The colours are beautiful, the sunshine is lovely, and I just… meh. Yay, depression! Always fun.

Anyway, happy things? I should probably find some happy things.

I made chutney! And pear jam. I’m making notes for what went wrong so I can do better next time… (Mostly the jam had too much sugar, and I wasn’t entirely sure about the chutney. I just need to experiment there, I think.)

I planted a tree! A neighbour was digging up their plum tree and offered it round, and it’s now in our Close to replace one that was there but died. I’m hoping that it’s going to survive the winter – it’s had compost and food and a lot of rain, so we’ve done all we can…

Cat asleep with his paws covering his noseOne sort-of happy thing – I had an awesome story dream! And then forgot it, of course. I keep getting the occasional story idea, too – nothing that I can write, but it’s reassuring to know at least the ideas are popping up.

Smol Grumpy Black Cat is currently a pumpkin; he’s officially Stout (whoops) and has been sitting under our Hallowe’en banner like a small black pumpkin, so  I’m currently calling him Grumpkin. Other than that he’s well, grumpy, yowling and generally extremely happy – although he doesn’t have enough biscuits. THERE ARE NEVER ENOUGH BISCUITS.

I’m on hooooliday! As of tomorrow, anyhow. I’ve got a week-and-a-half off; unfortunately I’m not in Canada as planned, but I am going to be doing a bunch of DIY, planting some nice bushes in the garden, and sleeping a lot. Maybe if my brain will co-operate, I might get some reading done too…

That’s it. Be kind to yourselves!

 

A Kate Update: May 2020

Still here, still going. Still grey. I have lots of posts I want to write but get halfway through and can’t get the words right. (Also, my hands won’t do what I want – I keep typing words wrong. It’s made emails a lot of fun.)

I just made almond & orange cake, and chocolate & orange cake (I had oranges to use up, ok?) The taste test hasn’t yet happened, but they smell good!

Bobble is asleep in his veggie box; his second-favourite place is on a different box, and his third is on his piece of packaging paper on the floor (maybe it’s cooler?). He’s still shouty, opinionated, loves cuddles and loves his new food. We aren’t so keen on the farts from said food, but hopefully they’ll decrease over time.

(Note the pigeon in the window above… we had a nest for a month! We got to see two chicks grow from fluff to pigeons, and then learn to fly. Bobble was Distinctly Unimpressed, and I think the pigeon was also Unimpressed. They mostly interacted nicely though.)

I’ve given up on the garden. The Otter has taken over it for me, as I have deemed it too large a use of spoons and just generally too much stress. However, we have finished painting the fence! At the moment I’m just letting everything grow – the irises in particular look gorgeous.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is my current go-to for brain-turn-off.

I have managed to read a couple of books – reviews to come, I hope! I’m also managing to get through full days at work, and not (always) needing a nap at lunchtime. I’m still sleeping badly, though, or at least waking up feeling exhausted even though I’ve slept.

Haven’t got the spoons to do a Happy Things post, but there have been happy things. I got some great card games for my birthday, and ate cake; I’ve been for some good cycle rides, and chatted to friends, and read some good books, and had plenty of Bobble cuddles. Work’s been going well – I get to reference Avatar The Last Airbender! – and I’m enjoying cooking.

On the downside, the grey has been getting worse, in some ways – I’m definitely not as bad in terms of emotion as I was, and I haven’t been breaking as much. But everything is still very flat and has now become more dream-like; I’ve been wondering where I am, or forgetting what the view outside the window looks like, or trying to remember what I did yesterday. (The last is a bit more of a problem for everyone with days all being the same, I suspect, but it’s still frustrating.) Grey and fluffy, maybe, rather than just grey? But I am being hit with random memories at odd times, which I think is a good thing; hopefully it means my brain is slowly healing. I’ve got another six months minimum on the anti-depressants anyhow, so it’ll be interesting to see how the summer goes.

So: still here, still going, still got Bobble snorkles!

5 Happy Things: April 2020

I’m not ok – and that’s ok. I’m coping, basically. Nesting in duvet when I need to, answering the emails I can, doing the work I can. Trying to keep my head above water and just let myself have my limits.

I’m still raging, though. I hate being ill. I hate my head. I hate not being capable and able to work as much as I want to; I hate letting people down. BAH.

But it is what it is, and I’m grateful that I am safe, and healthy, and in the best position that I can be. I’m making a few changes to try to help (coming off a medication, trying to make sure I eat and exercise, being open about my limits) but mostly I’m just getting through each day – and that’s fine.

So, happy things!

1.New games

I’ve been playing a game called Sagrada – I’ve got the Android version, but there is a physical board game too! You choose dice to make up a pattern, and it’s so pretty – as well as involving enough thought to make it quite complex at times.

I’ve also been playing a silly set called Gnomes Garden on PS4 – it’s all timing of tasks and it’s quite fun!

2.Bobble

He’s been enjoying morning snuggles while I read a book… he’s not quite doing laps yet, but will put his front paws on you while the back end stays firmly on the sofa. That assists with requesting scritches, of course.

And he has the tiniest blep!

3.Easter Eggs

I’m not doing chocolate very well at the moment, but we got some lovely Easter eggs from Wicked Chocolate (who were doing delivery over Easter! Not sure about currently though…) and they were small and perfect and nommable. Om nom nom.

I also got a whole bag of extras, and delivered them round our close – I was trying to be sneaky, but at least two of our neighbours saw me (the problem of a cul-de-sac!) but hey ho, it still resulted in chocolate for everyone!

4.The garden

Progress! More fence, a garden bench and some makeshift decking.

 

 

5.Friends and Neighbours

The kindness of a neighbour letting us borrow tools. A far-away friend sending a silly gif. A parcel with a wonderful teacup and teas arriving. A ridiculous pun from a terrible person. Check-ins from work colleagues and friends. Cute animal videos from a work friend. Dog and yoga updates from my aunt. Daily life updates from my best friends.

I am finding it hard to send things back out, but everything is received and read and appreciated. Thank you <3

Five Happy Things: March 2020

We’re in lockdown now; I’m working from home (and that’s going about as well as can be expected, between my mental health and a cat who yells when he wants attention) but I’m trying to find positives. And there have been lots this month!

1.Bobble

Well, obviously: cat time!

2.The Weather

Blossoms and blue sky

Sunshine! We got out in the garden last weekend, and I was really enjoying my quiet bike rides in. Currently, the view out of the front window is blossoms and blue sky, which is beautiful – and it’s lovely to see them developing over the past week of sunshine!

I’ve shifted a pot of Narcissus out to the front of the house too, and it’s lovely to get the splash of yellow every time I go to the front door.

3.Projects

Speaking of the garden, I got a whole bunch of pallets a month or so ago, and we’re finally putting them to use:

Kate leaning on a pallet fence in the sunshine

Most of the fence came down in the storms about six months ago (which, incidentally, meant they didn’t come down in the two or three storms since… there’s a bright side, eh…) and we’ve been plotting what to do. We eventually settled on pallets as a cheap and recycling-friendly option, and a couple of weeks ago, I got a van-load! It’s been nice to actually build something, and also to get a project started now that the weather’s a bit nicer. Our plan is to add another layer, and then fill the gaps with plants – ivy, honeysuckle, herbs, roses, and whatever else would do ok as a wall plant or climber. The nice thing about the pallets is that they can either be a wall garden or a trellis, so we’ve got lots of options!

4.Our Community

We had a tea-break yesterday that consisted of most of our small cul-de-sac standing on their doorsteps in the sunshine and yelling at each other! It was hilarious and heart-warming and lovely, and really nice both to get out in the sunshine and see people. We’ve got a couple of community chats going; a couple of us have been picking up multiple veg boxes from Roots in Osney Mead (if you’re in Oxford, they’re open 10-3 weekdays for huge boxes of fruit or veg, £10 cash each) and delivering them to anyone in isolation; and it’s been really lovely to wave at people from windows and be able to check in on the chat to see if anyone can pick up whatever someone needs. We’re also planning a party for when we’re allowed out again…

5.Little Things

Playing Azul with my partner. Drinking tea while watching the kite float over the Close, checking for its breakfast and annoying all the crows. Sending seeds to friends, and getting cat pictures back. Watching the local tabby do its best to get close to the jackdaws, who are having none of it. Enjoying the physical feel of a book in my hands as I read. The smell of fresh cherry tomatoes. Cuddles with a Bobble-cat.

I’m doing my best to just focus on the little things; let the anxiety go, let the grey go, and just focus on the end of the day.

I Have A New Acquisition

It’s not a book – although I do have a lot of book news to share as well! I am very pleased to announce that we have acquired a Bobble.

He is a rescue from Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary; he’s sixteen, very opinionated, and has already claimed the end of the sofa as his sleeping spot! He’s also completely chilled – he shot out of the cat carrier, investigated everything, and then promptly went to sleep. Not a care in the world, this one…

He’s also super sweet, has an extremely expressive tail (I do wonder if he’s got some Siamese in him!), loves scritches, purrs as he drops off to sleep, and has grey toe-beans. He’s going to be an indoor cat (partly because it’s easier on us, and partly because he’s already got a John Wayne swagger in his back legs and isn’t too keen on the stairs) and, I suspect, is entirely happy with this state of affairs as long as he can watch the birds out of the window (which he’s already spent some time doing!)

He has also used the cat bed we bought specifically for him! It’s his “I am not to be bothered” bed, but I’m really happy that he’s using it. It’s quite impressive!

Yes, there will be more cat pictures. No, I’m not officially a cat lady yet – Peter and Jodie are still with my housemates (and loving it) so they’re technically not mine, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it… and yes, I do have a thing for black cats. How can you not love them?!

Also – lookit the curled tail!!