Tag Archives: happythings

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!


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!


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.


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!!

5 Happy Things: Christmas 2019

Well, I was burnt out! It took a couple of hard months at work and then flu to make me actually stop… I still feel exhausted but I have a bit more life and energy in me, and I actually have the energy to blog again!

The pills are also still helping, but have also been very weird; I do feel as if they’ve stripped the fog and left me with the depression! It feels like all my emotions are under glass – I can see them but not access them. Surface stuff is fine, but… I dunno. Very odd. We’ll see what the next couple of months brings, anyhow.

But for now, I’m trying to get back into things again, and make myself work.

So what’s been happy in December?


Carrot & apple cake, blueberry muffins, veggie roast dinner, cookies (I managed Weihnachtsgebäck but nothing else yet, courtesy of a week on the sofa with flu), banana pancakes, soups… it’s been a good holiday for just puttering around in the kitchen.

2.Advent Calendar

I hung fairy lights across our room and then put up 24 envelopes for my partner, and now that they’ve opened them all, I can tell you what was in them! Each had two photos in; about half were photos from the past year of us, cats, events, more cats, places… but the other half were either silly quotes or random images that I’ve been collecting over the years. They come from all over – mostly Tumblr! – so I haven’t linked them, I’m afraid.

It was a lot of fun to choose which ones I wanted to go in, and all of them made my partner laugh, smile or hug me – so it was definitely a very fun (and cheap!) thing to do. I’ve already got ideas for next year too!


We’ve painted some more of the house, and it’s BLUE! We also got a new carpet, put up new (to us) curtains, sorted out a pile of boxes and books… it’s starting to feel more like a home now.

Of course, there are more books still to come, courtesy of a certain bookworm. And you can never have enough books!

4.Christmas Presents

I like Christmas because it gives me an excuse to be nice to people, and it’s been a fun holiday. In addition to the advent calendar for my partner, I had fun getting them random gifts (including several things that were a “oh, I wanted one of those!” which is always satisfying) and got to do some fun presents for friends. I also did a present for our cleaners at work which was well received (seriously, why do people not thank the people who spend their time cleaning our desks?!) and did cards for our street, plus spent some time with some of our neighbours (including downstairs when she lost her key!)

We also had a lot of fun with our editorial Christmas card this year, and it’s been creating  a few happy waves on Twitter, which has been nice – yes, ok, we’re geeks. We know.

5.Little Things

I’ve been trying to focus on the small things this month: a warm mug of tea and a moment to look out of the window, watching the red kite go over. The smell of cookies baking, and a chocolate coin teased from its wrapper.  A favourite tree ornament and a favourite carol. New socks, and a warm winter coat. A song I’d forgotten, and time with family.

It feels like the world is slowly tipping over into hurt and grey and miserable-ness, so it’s the small happy things that are keeping me going from day to day.