So I'm doing this a little earlier than usual this month... Tomorrow I get on a train to London, and then the day after that I board a flight for what might even be the biggest adventure of my life — three weeks visiting the USA. Boston, New York and LA. I have been dreaming of doing this for a very long time, and the stars of finance, friendships, relationships, work and general courage have finally aligned to enable me to make it happen. (Hopefully — I still find it hard to believe this is even possible and am fairly terrified something is going to go wrong)
So anyway, here's April so far, and I will do a SPECIAL EDITION blog about my time in the US when I get back (very much hoping I will manage to do it justice with my drawings)
I gave up chocolate and crisps for lent this year, but unlike previous years where it was broadly a positive thing and I broke my addictions, this year I basically just ate loads of biscuits and crackers in place of crisps and chocolate, and when I returned to them, I returned to them with full force (in previous years I've also found that after 6 weeks without chocolate I actually don't want it that much, but this year that was decidedly not the case). I've been eating quite badly for the last couple of months and I'm not sure why. Perhaps from busyness, and I've decided it's something I'll address properly on my return from the US... Along with, potentially, my qualms about my all round goodness as a person. Friends, I apologise if I have seemed distant, or over-busy, or distracted. I have been all of those things, but I want to be better, and am working towards that.
And then it did another snow. It was the worst snow of the winter in some respects in that a) I am SO OVER SNOW now so there was no joy in the scenery despite it being very heavy, and b) within a few hours it turned to heavy rain, leaving everything in the deepest, slimiest, slippiest slush, and it was just MISERABLE and GROSS and for goodness sake surely we're done now.
Feeling feelings. Drifting through eternal winter. All that stuff.
Alex has been nagging me for ages to invite some of my friends round for dinner. I used to do this a lot more in Brighton, and it was super casual and chill and nice, but somehow since moving to Hebden Bridge I've retreated a little, socially, and the whole thing has become oddly intimidating. Anyway, lovely Amy and Rachel and Beth came round and we had some tasty food and played some games and it was GREAT, I don't know what I was even worried about.
Went to Northern Vegan Festival in Manchester and ate so many tiny samples I felt kinda sick. Yay!
Then Shigeto at the Brudenell in Leeds — he was absolutely incredible. Went kind of on a whim because I wanted to get in the city for a bit, and so glad I did. This is a fairly terrible painting, in my ongoing poor efforts to capture something of the live music I love so much.
Since drawing this I had the worst danglepoop experience ever, in which Charlie forlornly came over with a little bit of poop hanging from his butt for me to pull out — I gave it a tug with a poo bag over my hand, as I usually would, and was like 'oh mate, this one's tenacious', just as I realised he'd eaten an elastic band and it pinged out of his butt spraying little bits of poo over my exposed hand and lower arm. Wahey pet ownership!
Went to see Wiki at Night and Day cafe in Manchester. He was great but it was a bit lads lads lads rowdy and I'd just eaten a massive Thai curry with lovely Kim and Sylvia so it was maybe not exactly what I needed, but I still had fun.
Okay so the HOT NEWS this month amongst me and all my other friends with medium/large boobs is that M&S have DONE THE IMPOSSIBLE and created a non-wired bralette that is a) supportive, b) comfortable, c) flattering, and d) cheap. Like even one of these things was pretty unlikely, but all four?! I've bought two, and eagerly await more colours so I can buy like 10 more. It's not QUITE as supportive as a normal bra, but it's plenty for most days, and so nice to take it off at the end of the day and not be covered in red marks from underwires (even a well fitting bra leaves marks, and badly fitting ones can even cut into the skin and leave blisters, and apparently my boobs change shape often enough that a well-fitting bra one week can be a terribly fitting one the next week)
Anyway, if you want to buy one, here! (I know it seems hard to believe — I only tried one after a friend recommended it to me, and I've since recommended it to other people who have come back to me like 'What is this witchcraft?!' so I strongly recommend you go try one if this sounds like a thing you would like but had previously thought impossible!)
Gardeners World is like the most soothing television in existence and yes I have a weird crush on Monty Don, don't @ me
The gates to the Halifax Piece Hall are pretty wow
I'm coming across as quite anti-social this month, aren't I? I don't know.
I somehow manage to combine being a ridiculous mingly socialite with a strong and perhaps somewhat disgusting drive for social climbing/hanging out with the cool kids with being a fairly intense introvert who hugely resents any unwanted intrusion on my own time. Hi!
It's hard to say that kind of thing without then worrying that every person I'm friends with will avoid me forever more, but it's worth stating that friendships and seeing people and being social are hugely important to me, and if you are in my life in that way, I probably love you at least a little and maybe a lot. Being social usually happens on my own terms, which means I'm delighted about it, and to be honest, even at times like the above, when it doesn't, and I'm filled with 'ugh not now plz' mood, it still usually works out for the best.
I saw a friend/aquiantance out while walking Charlie in the pouring rain on the moors, listening to angry techno and generally feeling miserable and revelling in solitude, and was like 'damn it, there's no way I can avoid this person without taking a massive and muddy detour'. So I said hi, and we ended up sharing the rest of the walk together and it was genuinely lovely to get to know each other better and share some life stuff we were both figuring out, and at the end of the whole thing I felt so much nicer than I would have done if I'd persisted alone. So let that be a lesson to me.
A friend left a synthesiser at our house for brief safekeeping, and I am VERY SAD not to have more time to play with it before I go. Had a brief bleep bloop and am sincerely hoping it'll still be here when I get back from time away!
SUN CAME OUT! (At last) And that means it's bug time, where every gloriously sunny walk is marred by inhaling about 5 bugs and dodging countless more, come on guys, sort it out, stop flailing around aimlessly and get out of my mouth.
Helpfully, got a migraine (only my second one ever), whilst trying to do ALL THE WORK before going away. (Perhaps bought on by staring very intently at a particularly gaudy spreadsheet). Anyway, had a lie down in a darkened room and Alex bought me some tea and a cold towel to put over my eyes and after a couple of hours snoozing it thankfully eased, but still, UNHELPFUL.
Finally did my packing having been (uncharacteristically) procrastinating it for the previous week. Normally I love figuring this kind of stuff out, but 20 nights spread across two wildly different climates has proven an intimidating challenge, and I hope I have made the correct choices. (I am stung a little after thinking I'd got good at this, and then massively under-packing for the Netherlands last month and ending up wearing all my layers at once while forlornly clinging onto my travel companion complaining about how cold I was)
Let's see how this goes...
And tomorrow, I get the train down to London before flying to Boston on Tuesday. Clearly, I have bought this on myself, so this is not a complaint, but there's no denying I have got the fear. I am an anxious traveller and I have managed to work through that in recent years, but this is the biggest test of my bravery yet. Wish me luck, wish me smooth travels, and I'll try and come out the other end with some lovely drawings and lots of anecdotes to bore you all with for the coming months (thank you and sorry)