Well October has come around very quick. I must be getting old because it feels like such an old person thing, to constantly be like ‘hasn’t this week/month/year/decade gone quick!’. I have also just finished work for a long weekend and seem to have come down with a cold between leaving the office and getting to my couch, which also feels like an old person thing, to ‘get sick just in time for the holidays’. So there’s that.
I spent three lovely weekends in a row hanging out with a range of lovely friends, eating delicious food and drinking delicious drinks. I didn’t go anywhere outside Manchester except for work, and that was a visit to Rotherham so nothing very exciting to write about. I’ve been feeling a bit cooped up which makes sense now I realise I’ve not gone anywhere, so to remedy this I am planning a holiday and also trying to plan little trips and also thinking about bigger trips in the future. Maybe. Someone bring me one million pounds please and thanks.
I did a three day first aid course at work which felt like a bloody adventure, in that it lasted forever and I was fully exhausted by the end of it.
I ate some very excellent pork pierogis at GRUB food fair, from SMAK Polish Kitchen who I think are based in Leeds. It’s nice to see street food traders selling some of the less ‘cool’ cuisines and something a bit different. Obviously we all love a wood-fired pizza but there’s so much variety out there. Also any dumpling is a good dumpling.
I had two delicious restaurant meals which I did not photograph; one at Grafene and one at Bistro West 156. Both were nice, I’d probably return to Bistro West 156 but not rush back to Grafene.
I’m still averaging about one book a month which I feel okay about until I think of all the books that I want to read and then I start to have an overwhelming existential panic. I’m not sure to what extent reading more books would fix this panic but I can try. If you have any actual tips for reading more (that aren’t ‘read more’ or ‘sleep less’) please hit me with them. Honestly I think I need to write a to-do list every day that has ‘read book’ on it.
When I look now, I realise I actually read two books in September, but sadly they were both not very good. I need to stop buying shit cheap books from Amazon just because they’re cheap. I swear I look at a book in the Kindle store and I’m like ‘£8?! Don’t be ridiculous why would I spend £8 on a book, I’ll buy this one for 99p instead’ but I regret it every time. I spend so much unnecessary money on random crap so why not just buy a more expensive book if I’ll enjoy it.
I read Interference by Amelie Antoine which I think may actually have been a freebie. It wasn’t unpleasant to read but just so very silly. I hated all the characters and the ending was terrible. Then I read A Cure For Madness by Jodi McIsaac. It was interesting enough to keep me reading but again, unlikeable characters. Which is sometimes fine but in these two books it just got on my nerves. There was also a really unnecessary love story.
I bought these books from a charity shop for just £1 each which I was very pleased about. I immediately picked up Elizabeth Is Missing and tore through it, but finished it in October so it will be mentioned again in next month’s round-up.
I did a pretty big gym skive in September but overall I feel a lot fitter, and like I’m enjoying exercise more. And actually the gym skive demonstrated that I don’t really enjoy being sedentary all the time, even if I do enjoy it because I’m pretty lazy, but actually I feel worse for it. But no point beating myself up. On days when I feel like getting sweaty but don’t want to do anything OTT or can’t/don’t want to get to the gym I’ve started doing the following at home: 45 seconds jumping jacks, 30 secs rest x 6; 10 x 10 squat presses with light weights. It doesn’t take much time, I do it without even putting gym clothes on if I can’t be bothered, and I always feel better afterwards. If you’re a ‘no pain no gain’ type you could probably do a few circuits of this but I feel pretty satisfied after the one.
I also went for a deep tissue massage to combat the neck/shoulder/back pain that had accumulated from hunching over a laptop all day at work. My office has a trendy hot-desking style thing where it’s just big tables rather than desks so we all have a laptop and just grab a seat wherever. The tables and chairs are just all wrong for me and I naturally seem to hunch over a laptop and over time this started to cause me a lot of pain (see above re: being old). So I paid someone – a professional, I promise – to basically beat me up. It was terrible. Surreal. Pretty scary. But also great. The masseuse actually seemed pretty horrified herself at some of the knots in my back and she really did not go easy on me. It felt awful at the time and quite bad for a day or two but then started feeling better and now I have a lot less pain, e.g. after hunching for an hour my neck hurts but I notice it as being out of the ordinary and it feels better when I stop hunching. Perfect! What I need to do is go back regularly and not just wait to get all bent out of shape again.
I must be getting paid too much because I went a bit wild in September buying things. Mostly useful things and some stuff that I’ve been putting off buying for a while, e.g. my mum and dad gave me money as a Christmas present to buy glasses. Only took me until September to get round to that. There they are below. I still don’t have a selfie of me in them, apologies. I’ve now got past the ‘argh they feel so different, my eyes look so small, the prescription is so different, they keep falling off my face’ stage and am pretty damn pleased with them. I am still a bit convinced that my eyes look small in them actually so I’ve started wearing mascara to work even though I’ve always been a ‘too lazy for makeup’ type.
I also bought a backpack because why not pretend to be a student. I actually never used a backpack as a student. I also didn’t take a single book out of the library in my first year so definitely don’t be like me, current students: get a backpack and familiarise yourself with the library. I bought a Cath Kidston backpack, unexpectedly. I wouldn’t have even thought of looking there but spotted someone at work with one and was impressed. It’s pretty sturdy and has a zipped laptop pocket, and was only £45 which is way less than a lot of others on the market. I do wish it had a pocket for my keys however.
I also bought a very serious, deeply unsexy winter coat. It’s insulated, padded, has a big hood with a furry bit, lots of pockets. I’m thrilled with it. I have no pictures because it is just not the weather yet. I’m going to wear all my elegant wool coats while the weather is getting colder and then bring out the new coat when it’s really cold. So excited.