Tuesday 28 February 2023

February 2023

February began, as it always does, with Hourly Comic Day — you can see my hourlies (as well as previous years attempts) here.

February also began, as it has every day for the last 12 years, with the birthday of Chase the dog.

She's good.

A couple of years ago, while I was deep in MA stress, and ranting to anyone who would listen about my love of trains and public transit, an aquintance let me know that her husband was a tube driver, and he loved having guests join him in the cab. Sadly due to COVID restrictions at that time it wasn't possible, but now finally the wait was over and Rich got in contact with me to let me know I could come join him any time. Why wait?! Just a few days later I rocked up a Edgware Road, and with a surprisisng degree of casualness, sauntered into tthe cab of a Hammersmith and City train, and rode up and down the line with him for a couple of hours. It was truly everything I had dreamed of and more, and were it not for my IBS and tiny bladder I would genuinely be tempted to quit everything else and go drive trains. What a joy. I learned SO MUCH about how the tube runs and all the different lines and the challenges there are in maintaining the network.

The next day I hopped on (the passenger section of) a train down to Chichester, where I met my mum and friend Heidi to go see an exhibiton of South Downs related art at Pallant House art gallery. Afterwards, me and Heidi went for a hike up said downs, with creepy forests and beautiful views down to the coast. A lovely day out.

The new Battersea Power Station development is mostly a temple to capitalism but there is a really good Korean supermarket where I can buy exciting noodles, chilli crisp, and weird junk foods like these slightly hectic corn snacks. (That are not actually as spicy as they say they'll be, but are a very alarming shade of red)

BeReal is still my favourite social network. Pls join me there

Still searching for a hairdresser who understands my apparently quite difficult hair, after my fav guy in Brighton retired. This place did okay — it looked great straight out of the salon but I can't re-achieve that cute quiff curl now...

Spring is (maybe) springing! (It is still very cold)

Me and my partner went to Ikea! I love living (kinda) near Ikea!

Facing some new teaching challenges this term, and it's going quite well?!!? Had a very successful day running a self-written workshop and then got home to an email from a student insisting I'd graded them incorrectly on another module I recently marked. DID I?! IDK?! Marking is new and hard?! I think I'm right but what if all creativity is subjective and impossible to grade?! Aaargh?!

I am in an extremely wholesome whatsapp group called 'Riso working group' which is basically just people from mostly the UK asking questions about why their riso machine is or is not doing the thing. It's sweet and friendly and supportive and educational, and in the 'before times' they also hosted sporadic IRL meetups. This was the first one of these since pre-COVID, hosted by the lovely Pagemasters in Lewisham! I was a bit socially anxious about going but recognised a few other people there, and everyone was very sweet. 

 People are gross (that includes me I guess)

Lovely lunch out with a friend of a friend who is now a friend of ME!

I only have to do the bad Samaritans night shift (2.30 – 6.30) once every three months. It's always less bad than I expect it to be but I still hate being awake at night. On my way in, I always pick up lots of snacks to sustain me, but some nights I don't really feel like getting to them until the end of the shift (sometimes I munch all night though tbh). I was delighted to find WHSmiths selling the new(ish) vegan kitkats, one of my fav childhood chocolate bars, and one I probably hadn't had for well over a decade. I snapped it apart and ate it while blearily eyed walking home down Carnaby Street at 6am and had a vivid 'many years have passed' flashback to tiny Emma enjoying a kitkat in her lunchbox at school in North Wales. 

Then I later remembered they're made by Nestlé and so I guess I'll go back to not having kit kats again.

From culinary highs to culinary lows.

Someone in the park mistook my partner for my SON. Misgendering aside, I know I look my age, but REALLY?!

I made a visual diary mistake here — walked section 5 of the capital ring but forgot to draw it in the same style as all the others, damn it! Got distracted I guess because it didn't feel as novel as other sections (being the one closest to my house I'd walked a lot of it with Charlie already). Plus I was joined by my old college friend Vicky who I hadn't seen in several years, to offload our respective life trauma of the past few years. So probably spent more time gossiping than appreciating the features of the walk.

Talking of the new battersea power station development, took my mum and aunt up the fancy lift which runs up one of the chimneys. The views were great but it was VERY expensive and you barely get any time up there.

We sometimes walk an elderly neighbour's dog to help her out. His name is Tippu and he's a weird little guy.

Lent cometh!

Got a large tattoo on my thigh, but haven't really shown it off yet as it's not healing very well. I think I've had an allergic reaction to the red ink, as all the black areas are healing and peeling as they should, but the red area has scabbed over with thick scabs and is still really tender over a week on. Hoping it will heal tidily given a bit more time!

Had to give a very technical presentation to over 70 people about research process, which was stressful.

I mostly try not to think too hard about the air on the tube, but

To escape from the foul London air, I got the tube up to Hebden Bridge for a long weekend. Finally visited my friend James' very lovely new house.

And enjoyed some of my old favourite hiking routes (while trying not to think too hard about how much I miss Charlie)

Managed to catch up with a few of my HB favs over the weekend, which was really lovely.

Headed home yesterday — feeling the lenten hungriness (I always use this as a time to eschew snacking between meals, crisps and chocolate) — spent the entire 15 minutes running up to midday staring hungrily at my delicious pasta lunch on the train.

Home now and desperately hoping for warmer temperatures. As part of my lenten penance I have also (finally, after maybe 5 months?!) returned to my actual grown up desk (rather than just working from bed). I hate it.

I have some adventures lined up in March to look forwards to/be anxious about, so hopefully some interesting drawings to come next month...

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