Friday, 1 November 2013


Well despite several fairly nice things occuring during this month, I'd say the general tone of visual diary this month is GLOOM. It's interesting, because I try not to be gloomy on the internet, but I sometimes forget a bit when I'm making these that I might share them later, and... anyway.

Basically winter. There's nothing to worry about I don't think, I always have down times, and more often than not they're related to the amount of darkness and cold in my life. And there's suddenly a lot more darkness and cold in my life. Because winter.

I bought myself some new shoes, and it felt for once like a legitimate purchase because my only other similar shoes had literally worn through so I could feel pavement on every stride. I feel a bit bad about them being made of leather though. Maybe I'm turning into a proper vegetarian. (I still bought them though)

My emetophobia is definitely much improved after CBT, however we're getting into the scariest time of the year for emetophobes… norovirus season! So please do me a favour and don't talk about it around me (people seem to LOVE puke anecdotes, the grosser the better), because I honestly don't need another winter of washing my hands till they're red raw and assuming that every surface is coated with tiny particles of other people's vomit. THANKS GUYS! 
(Seriously though, eating runny eggs and bread with mould on and not spending the rest of the day in a paranoid heap is MASSIVE progress)

This was a fun thing. I'll be posting a blog about it soon.

I realised I never really cook curry, I guess because I've always found my home cooked curry disappointing in the past. But I decided to try and replicate Pho's Vietnamese tofu curry, and it turned out AMAZING. I was so smug I've cooked it four times since and am now thoroughly sick of it, a bit like an overplayed song.

In fairness, the web icons were quite satisfying once I got a good method down for making them consistent, and the celeriac made some brilliant rostis, so it was all worth it in the end.

One of the highlights of my month, I only went and cycled all the way to WORTHING! For those of you who don't live around here, that's a good long way. Like, half an hour away if you get the train, maybe more to drive. And it was great. It genuinely filled me with a kind of joy and satisfaction I've not felt in quite a long time. I'm not even sure why it happened either. I just felt like cycling to Shoreham and sort of… kept going. And kept going. Most unlike me. There were a lot of beautiful places on the way, and I fell in love with this part of the country all over again.

To make up for my magnificently active Saturday, Sunday was one of those days where all I could be bothered to draw was Alex's room, where I spent much of the day lying doing nothing. Mmm, lazy Sundays.

Good sunset. Not a particularly good drawing of good sunset.

Sometimes my brain goes places I don't want it to, and at times like that there aren't many things I can do to distract it. Candy Crush Saga (or Tetris, or your repetitive game of choice) works. So does cycling, it turns out. (It's really hard to draw people on bikes)

Started going to life drawing classes again. Still not very good, but a lot better than I was during art foundation. I want to get better at drawing people (clothed or not) and I think this might be a good start at understanding how bodies are put together a bit better. It seems having one myself isn't experience enough.

Tried drawing myself again, just after I'd been having a cry (what was I crying about? The weather. I'm not even joking. I'm that rubbish.)
This is horrible but for the first time, it's a self portrait that is actually recognisably me. Possibly.

EMO. Seriously though. I booked myself a week off work ages ago because I felt like I'd need one at this point, but for some reason never really got round to planning anything to do in it. Boredom + cold house + rain = misery. For me, at least.

In an effort to fix my glooms, I decided to go for as many long cycles as the rainy weather would allow. But you know what guys? Long cycles hurt your bum. So I invested in some padded cycling shorts which make little to no difference, but make me feel like a PRO. One leg of writing is pixellated out, but amusingly not for the reasons you might imagine. Ask me if you see me face to face, it's a moderately interesting story.

Fortunately, mid week, Martin (my former partner who I lived with for three years, and who I still count as one of my best friends) invited me to go and stay with him and his family in Neath for a few days. This was a very good thing to do. It was nice to be in a new (although still just as rainy) place in a beautiful cosy house with people I'd missed a lot.

Before I went though, on Wednesday night, me and Alex went to meet, interview, and watch a gig from the wonderful Daedelus. And he really is wonderful.

I took some pictures, but taking pictures of people who are moving a lot in dark rooms is pretty hard. I quite liked this one though. You can read Alex's review of the gig here, (with more of my pictures) and there's an interview to come soon.

Anyway, after that I headed to Neath the next day. I did some nice pencil drawings while I was there, but they scan in way too faintly, so here's a picture of me and Mumbles Pier instead.

I only stayed in Neath for a couple of days, but it was enough to revive me. On the train journey on the way back I was browsing Facebook, and Daedelus posted a short blog on his Facebook page about the tour he's in the middle of (and as part of which we'd met him a couple of days earlier). This phrase seemed like a good thing, and I sort of couldn't forget it.
I'm still not very good at this kind of typography, but one day, with practice, I'll get there, hopefully. Or at least get better.

Then big storm did come, and enough water came in through my leaky window to drench FIVE towels. Which still aren't dry nearly a week later, because we're too stubborn to turn the heating on.

This was fun. Potluck dinner at LJs house. Everyone made amazing things and I ate way too much in the best possible way.

This sounds really miserable too, doesn't it? It's honestly not. After my short lived period of wanting to cycle for hours every day (which I hope isn't gone for good, it's just been a bit thwarted by rain and darkness and being back at work during the day), I've re-embraced one of my oldest hobbies of just walking for ages. Nowhere in particular, just until I want to go home. It's fun whether it's dark and cold or bright and sunny, and while it's not an escape from the winter blues, it's definitely a more healthy way of being with my thoughts. It's also a good way of going on imaginary daydream adventures, but I don't know if I'm alone in that habit. Walking and daydreams just go well together I think.

Anyway. That's all for October. We've put the heating on for the first time today, which hopefully means less chilliness, no more damp clothes, and no more new mould colonies. Also my body is hopefully settled into the idea that cosiness can be fun, and winter has it's charms too. Hopefully.