Thursday, 31 August 2017

August 2017

Well it's been a long hazy summer in Hebden Bridge and August has been particularly... Who am I kidding, it's still been basically raining all the time BUT ACTUALLY LITTLE LESS AND I'M DEALING WITH IT MUCH BETTER GUYS

In some ways, the problem this month has been not enough water rather than too much, but more on that later...

First, we went to the grand reopening day of Halifax's Piece Hall. It's an incredible building, traditionally it was a place that the region's famed textile makers would go to sell their wares (pieces), with a huge central courtyard surrounded by mini units that one could hire out on a day by day basis. In recent years it's fallen into disrepair and shabbiness, but it's been recently renovated and it looks LOVELY. (True to form it was chucking it down with rain but we still had fun)

(The rain eased off and I got some chips. Yes yes yes. Plus I'm wearing my amazing expensive raincoat which I saved up lots of money for, and now I feel ready to face the Yorkshire winter)

But then OH WHAT the boiler stopped working, and let me just say you guys, THIS HAS BEEN AWFUL AND I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW WE COPED. I know, I know, we are privileged to live in a warm house with hot water at all, but showers and baths are a huge part of mine, Alex and Justin’s mental as much as physical health regimes. I know it sounds like I’m being ridiculous here, but, spoiler alert, this was not fixed until AUGUST 22ND, which is a full 3 weeks, and it was AWFUL. (No one entirely to blame either, just bad luck, although the landlord could have been more generous and just paid for a new boiler, which is clearly what’s needed, but ho hum)

We escaped no-hot-water for a little bit with a trip down to London for Nine Worlds Geekfest. The tube train there went right past Grenfell Tower, and honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced such a visceral horror as seeing that building so close. I’ve been feeling a lot of feelings about everything surrounding what’s happened there, and this was very very real. Housing in this country is precarious in so many ways which is simply shouldn’t be. Grenfell is one very vivid, dark example of our broken system which prioritises profit over people’s safety and wellbeing. I still feel sick.

Nine Worlds is always great. I escaped for a little while on the Friday for a work meeting with a freelance client (check me out), lunch with lovely Wes, and some brief London wanderings. I love being in London.

One of the things we do at Nine Worlds is to (along with a few other people) run the boardgames lounge, where con attendees can come and take some time out and play one of a huge range from the collection that Alex and the 5 or 6 other people who organise it bring. We always have to heave huge suitcases of games with us but it’s totally worth it for the fun they bring to so many people who attend.

After a lovely weekend we headed back north with our tired faces on.

Justin burns toast more often than I feel is normal. I mentioned this to Alex who pointed out that the dials on our toaster are extraordinarily sensitive, and sometimes have been turned up for toasting things that need more time, resulting in ‘the perfect toast storm’

Two entirely unrelated guests on one day, what a TREAT!

Kier stayed for another day and we had a lovely walk.

Did a zine fair but it was extraordinarily quiet and pretty poorly promoted, although I did make back my table fee, which is what matters, right? Drew this during one of the (near constant) quiet spells…

Trains time again! Back down to Brighton (and thank goodness, an escape from ongoing sad kettle/bucket baths situation)

Brighton was work work work work work with our busiest time of year in my main job, but it was wonderful to catch up with a few friends while I was there. Me and Elly had the loveliest dinner/gossip I’ve had in ages. (This looks NOTHING like her though)

Work stress mounting but another lovely evening catching up with Matthew, and eating delicious pizza from pizzaface, which I have so missed.

I love my job, but this time of year is always hard. All the harder for new colleagues, missing colleagues, new systems, not having been in the office and getting used to different working patterns. To be honest, I was super productive and got loads of stuff done, but at this time of year it’s never enough, and all my failings felt super exaggerated being back there.

But in the evening I had a run, and finally understood a tiny bit of why people run other than for fitness reasons. I’m not gonna say my mind emptied or I had some kind of wonderful epiphany, but running those old, familiar, but distant streets late at night, in the dark, alone, with an ease I could never have imagined (less hills in Brighton than Hebden, innit), was a special kind of something.

Still, my trip to Brighton was not restful, and I spent the journey home pondering on ANXIETY and how it manifests itself and what that means. (FWIW, all the ones in ‘level 2’ fluctuate a lot and are often entirely absent and/or replaced by entirely different things — I do love Alex very much, Hebden is lovely and right now I feel like I am achieving things creatively, but my brain does like to challenge me on all of the above quite frequently, which is just a part of being me I guess.)

Re Level 3 though, we're utterly fucked.

Just wailing this, while sitting forlornly in the bottom of an empty bathtub sloshing cupfuls of lukewarm water from a bucket onto my armpits

I'm not normally one for getting excited about such things, but I've got enough friends in the US now that I did start feeling a little left out...

Took Charlie to the vets for his annual injections and he was the bravest best boy. (We had to wait quite a while and every time the vet came out to call the next doggo in he kept getting all excited thinking it was his turn HE'S SUCH A SWEETHEART)

Guys I'm gonna take this opportunity to promote my new etsy shop, I just made a bunch more co-ops tea towels and there's some other lovely stuff there too.

Also SOON there will also be a new mini zine all about condiments. In these troubled times it's good to just spend some time thinking really intensely about condiments.

Started panicing yesterday because my left knee really hurt, and I was like 'is this it is my knee ruined now forever', but it's okay, it's feeling better today. Back to not paying any attention to my knees again till it's too late!

I hope you've all had a wonderful summer. I'm kind of looking forwards to my first month since about March of actually just staying in Hebden Bridge. Going down to London and Brighton loads has been wonderful but it'll probably be good to focus down here a little, get stuff done (and I'll be heading down south again in October for sure :)