I started the year with big aspirations...
Maybe 2018 will be the year I actually learn to draw hands!
Or maybe I’ll learn to tie some fancy knots?
Or maybe I'll BUY A HOUSE
Except no, I won't buy a house. Because what millenial can buy a house? Even up north? Thing is though right, parents. And only child. And priviledge. So I can't buy a house. But my parents can. And because they're lovely, they'd let me rent it from them. So that might be happening. I'm not buying a house. But I sort of am buying a house. Hello.
Oh for a walk with no mud and no overgrown foliage just clear brisk striding, such dreams
In December I started kidding myself that maybe I was dealing okay with winter. Maybe I’d be fine. But you know what, the reality is, first full winter in this valley is HARD (and from what everyone local says, it doesn’t even get any easier in subsequent years). The dark, cold, near constant rain/snow/sleet/hail drag you down and situations that would normally barely cause a stir leave you feeling drained and washed out and sad and tired. Next year, SAD lamp and vitamin D. Just must. Ugh.
This isn’t so good because I used the wrong pens, but one of the big things around here is that (especially in winter) there are parts of the valley that barely ever receive direct sunlight. Luckily our house sits above that line, but still, it’s a mood.
I escaped to Brighton for a little while. Oh Brighton, I can’t believe I ever complained about your winters! What I wouldn’t give for that 2 or 3 degrees extra warmth and approximately half the amount of rain now. Got to see some cuties, and eat some tasty stuff.
On Wednesday Claire and Matthew made lovely chilli tofu and rice for me at their new place!
On Thursday I succumbed to my THIRD COLD OF THE WINTER WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS (oh, and I went for lovely Planet India with Zoë)
On Friday, crippled by lurg, I travelled up to London to stay at George and Wes’s, and got in bonus dinner with them, at Nat and Paul’s place with Steph and Lauren too. Everyone was lovely and I tried to keep my grossness to a minimum and have a fun time.
Then on Saturday I tumbled my way home, just about.
I appreciate this month seems like nothing but moaning. I am sorry. This is very tedious. We’re nearly out the other side. Aren't we?!
Despite seeming like a grumble every time I look back at this (somewhat terribly drawn) comic about my expensive condiment habits, I feel an irrational amount of affection for my long suffering housemates who put up with all my bullshit (and eat my expensive condiments).
Just coming out the other end of my cold, I started getting really terrible stomach cramps in the evening. I always get the fear when this happens as I have a phobia of vomiting, but it's usually nothing (I haven't actually vomited in nearly 20 years)
But this time. It was not nothing.
Alex got a terrible stomach bug (which we initially thought was food poisoning) earlier in the week, and despite my best efforts and intense avoidance tactics, I too succumbed. The next visual diary is a drawing of me sitting on the toilet pooping and NEARLY BUT NOT QUITE vomiting at the same time, so I'll spare you that one, but rest assured it was NO FUN
I came through the worst symptoms somewhat quicker than Alex though, with under 24 hours of actual bad stomach stuff (and no actual vomit), but then quite a few days of just intense, brutal, totally washed out tiredness (I still don’t feel like I’m back to my usual self but I’m not sure if it’s residual illness or just winter sads)
Despite being deprived of some of his usual walks (a neighbour helped us out when we were at our worst), Charlie was a lovely patient nurse, spending hours gently cuddled up with me in bed. (Although still occasionally getting over-excited and pawing at my painful stomach, I did appreciate how chill he managed to keep himself in the face of my distress for the most part)
As someone who leaves the house, usually for at least a couple of hours every day (and always has done), got cabin fever after a couple of days trapped indoors. Finally made it out.
Nat came to visit and lift my miserable mood with all the hot goss from that London town.
Trying to use these coloured pencils a bit more, for variety. Went into Halifax to get some bits, drew this lovely arcade I saw later on.
Fellow vegans, I wholeheartedly endorse these for all your intensely chocolatey cereal needs.
I kind of had a lovely evening on the 26th — first we went to Rachel’s 40th birthday party, and then we went to see old friends/musical geniuses AK/DK play in Todmorden. But my resounding memory of the evening was when Justin got really drunk and decided it was the time to confront me about some of my foibles — some very real, some… entirely imaginary? For example, I don’t think I have ever once smugly declared ‘Welcome to my tower of graphic design’, but I may now start doing so, every time anyone comes up into the loft home office.
WELCOME TO MY TOWER OF GRAPHIC DESIGN
(It's okay, we are still friends)
With the exception of those couple of days of tummy bug I have been REALLY HUNGRY all month. Food is just so great. Are there many higher pleasures than a steaming hot tray of fresh chippy chips and curry? I think not.
You may have been under the impression that I would one day run out of/get bored of finding ways to complain about the weather, but no, friends, I shall continue.
I SHALL CONTINUE