Posted in Education, work, Writing

Busy, in the background!

I’m still alive, just been working hard and a lot at many different things. I promise new posts coming soon!

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Posted in Education, job hunting, life, work

When real life hits

I’ve been under no illusions the last few weeks. Life is being a bitch. I’ve had too much time on my hands without a job and the panic has set in many times. The unemployment rate is ridiculously high in Glasgow… apparently nothing’s changed in the last five years, even despite the massive increase in my work experience and my degree; it has done little to improve my circumstances.

Don’t ask what happened to the other job. All I’ll say is it was making me ill and it’s not the direction I wanted to be going in. Though I’m struggling, I don’t regret leaving… I’m just wondering if being in Glasgow is really the right place for me now.

When I don’t need to get up, I really struggle to get up at a reasonable time. I am the master of the 12-hour sleep and also often suddenly find myself still up faffing around at 2am… you get the picture. Anyway, today I finally got my shit together and left the house after 2pm wanting to go to the Mitchell Library. It’s only open until 5pm on a Friday but I could still make it for a few hours.

I was barely on the bus and in the middle of reading Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can book when I heard others on the bus cry out a resounding “OHH!” I looked up and saw a wee man at the bus stop just collapsed onto the ground and wasn’t moving. Everyone on the bus froze in shock and a few people quickly jumped off and started fussing. Still no one knew what to actually do. I felt like an idiot. I just watched from the bus window, concerned but helpless. A guy appeared from nowhere and I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to get into the bus stop and was unaware of what was going on, but he got down on his hands and knees and pulled the guy onto his back and started doing chest compresions. Another woman soon took over this and the guy started giving mouth to mouth. Someone else called an ambulance and we all watched on as the old man still lay unmoving.

Eventually the bus driver was wanting to move on, some people stayed with the man and let the bus go. We all felt bad. A few stops later we saw the Paramedic ambulance racing in the opposite direction and a bit after that the real ambulance also rushed by. Gives me the shivers but isn’t the first time I’ve been in a situation like this. I really need to get First Aid certified.

It hasn’t tainted my day in so much as it has just brought a mortal edge to my issues. I’m struggling to find work, but so are lots of people. The world isn’t what it used to be… but also the world isn’t what it used to be. I am young, free, and single. The most fortunate woman in my long family line where I have had the help and support to be educated, to be free to work (even if I can’t find it), I live in a technological age where I can earn bits of money online, and I don’t need to marry, nor have children. I am not infallable, but I’m not defeated either. Something good will come eventually, it’s important to keep looking and being involved in life. In the meantime I’ll keep writing and finding joy where I can.

Just keep swimming!

e x

Posted in Education, Languages, Musings, Relationships, University

The Frustrations of Life

I like my life.

None of us has a life manual to tell us what to do, when to do it, or if we are doing it right. I follow my gut instinct though it’s taken me years to actually trust it and believe it knows best, but it can be difficult when you see what everyone else is doing, or worse, when other people tell you you’re not living your life right. How even?!

I’ve spent the last five years at uni where I was a good 6 years older than my fellow students, for the most part it wasn’t an issue, but of course there was some lighthearted ribbing, and some less than lighthearted ribbing. It was my choice not to go straight to uni after school, mostly because I felt mentally broken and scraped my way out of it. I instead went to a Further Education college to study Italian for a couple of years, then I studied Photography at another college, then there was a half year back at the original college to do more languages, then onto a third college to do a HNC as I was beginning to feel that uni was within my reach.

Does it matter how long it took me to get to uni? No. Does it matter how many years I spent doing other stuff? No, because I actually did other stuff. Does it matter that I’ll be 29 in a month and I haven’t been married off? HELL no!

It’s fine for other people, I know loads of people from school and college who’ve dated for years, got married, and had kids (in various orders) and that’s great for them who’ve chosen that life… But I really don’t believe it’s for me. I’ve dated, not recently, but I can’t be bothered with the drama right now. I’m only just back home in Glasgow and I’ve been in Waterstones so many times and yet no one has approached me from behind the shelves to ask to buy me a book!

I know it sounds like I’m trying to justify my life and choices, but sometimes I feel swamped by subliminal pressures because I’m not doing things the way everyone else is, but why would we want to do it like everyone else is?

Right now, I’m binge-watching Suits (Don’t trust the pineapple), I’ll do some more crocheting after, maybe a little Sims, then back to work for my course… and I may just add a sprinkling of Dutch in.

I like my life, I like my own time!

e x

Posted in Education, Fitness, Memories, Musings, University, Writing

Back to the drawing board

My course started on Saturday and I’ve managed to spend at least a couple of hours each day since to contribute to the forums and work on assignments. I’ve received really good feedback from a couple of other students on my first submission. I’m not good with criticism whether good or bad, and I struggle with accepting constructive criticism which I put down to too many essays being returned with ‘try harder’, ‘more detail’, ‘less flowery language – get to the point’, ‘don’t be so forceful’ – feedback in general can be contradictory as everyone will have different opinions.

This first year is broken down into four blocks and two specialisations, which for me are: Fiction and Script-writing. I’ll be working on Fiction in blocks 1 and 3, Script-writing in block 2, and block 4 is independent study. There are assessments at the end of each block and a final end of module assessment in June. I’m not too worried about the assessments yet, I had a read of the requirements and so long as I follow the course work and readings, I should manage to do quite well overall.

One of the stories I’ve been using for coursework is from what I want to be a novel series but it actually started aeons ago when I was around 6 or 7 as a make-believe scenario which touted many filled afternoons and a special birthday performance of a play of the story which I’d worked on for days. I was industrious to say the least. Now it’s a grown up story, but I’m still lacking a decent title. I know what I want the individual books to be titled but I don’t know what to name the series! I read an entire chapter on the purpose and point of decent titles, but nothing quite helped with this conundrum. I’ll get there in the end I suppose… consistency is the best cure for being stuck!

Managed to get back to the gym yesterday after several weekends of being too busy. Not lost too much in terms of endurance and I managed to get onto the lat pulldown machine… merely a couple of kgs off my personal bests! Going back tomorrow to smash them. Down several pounds in weight as well which is nice, but I’m trying to focus on listening to my body, if I really feel hungry or I’m just bored. I don’t want to go back to counting calories as I become far too obsessive with it, portion control and paying more attention to my eating habits and cravings will get me through for now.

I’m not a runner, it’s never been my thing, and I’ve actually caused myself more damage in the past when I’ve tried to run. Remember Phoebe trying to run in the park with Rachel? And Rachel was humiliated? Yep, mum just let me know today that that one time in school when I was picked to do the relay, I ran just like Phoebe did, maybe even worse! Thanks mum. I was never the sporty type. I had/have little to no upper body strength. I’d try to go on the monkey bars, grab on and swing forward – and keep swinging as my arms betrayed me and I kept swinging forward until gravity smacked me into the playground foam. I still can’t swim: I don’t float. Even when I was several stone lighter, it just never happened for me. My swimming proficiency at the end of Primary School, I got the shortest pity badge of 15 meters, but honestly that was me bobbing and trying to remember how to doggy-paddle like on Topsy and Tim. Then someone splashed water into my face and I choked and threw up by the side of the pool… thus my attempt was over.

So yeah, I was never going to be Sporty Spice, but that’s really why I prefer individual exercises that involve a steady machine or weights that I’m comfortable using without dislocating something. Don’t even get me started on gymnastics… the day I realised I had no balance or poise killed me. I’d never get to be the Pink Power Ranger. But when asked to do jumping splits over another person, I could take at least four others down with me!

Leave me to walk, row, and lift heavy stuff. I’m good.

e x

Posted in Education, elearning, Food, Japanese, Languages, Musings

Of all the gin joints…

Today was horrendously wet. No surprise to anyone who lives in Scotland but I think this is a sign that Summer and Frappuccino season is over.

I got up fairly early this morning and definitely slept better than the previous night (no more talking about work in my sleep), so I was more focused with what I wanted to do. Let’s just acknowledge now that my plans never always go exactly the way I want them to. I started with some more Gilmore Girls then studied a unit of Italian on edX (a great course if you are interested) though I’m doing the Advanced class as a recap before I start on the A.P. Italian program they’ve launched. It’s no end of amazement to myself at how quickly I am able to slip back into Italian… and have it make so much more sense than Spanish. But the years speak for themselves, 11 vs 5 🙂

After that I got ready and packed for the gym but also with a plan to hit a few shops in town for various things I have no time to pick up because of working at prime hours. And a stop to Starbucks to chill for a bit and read my book.

I also read on the bus. Didn’t notice a certain person getting on said bus, was hardly halfway through my journey. I’m not going to go into it much but let’s just say #awkward plus I didn’t get to read my book the rest of the journey 😦

Despite that, I got into town otherwise unscathed and managed to get the things I was looking for, necessities are expensive these days, aren’t they?! Ended up treating myself to Ichiban because I was suddenly starving and needed the carbs.

chickenyakisoba
Delicious Chicken Yakisoba!

The meal helped a lot and it’s quite inexpensive, even at the weekend. Next stop was Starbucks for what is probably my last Frappuccino until next summer – too damn cold to be drinking ice! Back to Caramel/Cinnamon Soya Steamers. My own creation way back when I was a barista.

The gym was fun, I managed a standard 15 minutes on the rowing machine that passed quite quickly and not as painful as before… I guess this means I’m getting fitter? I’m still taking everything slowly though, up to 15 minutes of various machines so I don’t snap, crack, or damage anything again. A couple of years back I had awful pain below my shins in the tendons that no one could explain, they were red and burning from the moment I woke up as well! Turns out my beloved zombie boots were too wide around the foot and the tendons were trying to hold my feet in place. Ick! Few months after that I ended up with Achilles Tendinopathy which I still haven’t managed to rid myself from, but I do enjoy the classical allusion. Then, of course back in April, I blacked out on my way home from work one night and landed full force on both my knees. They were black and blue (and agony) for months and are actually still quite tender on the knee caps.

I’m a walking disaster!

Weekend is over, time for bed! Work tomorrow…

e x

Gilmore again…

Very lazy Saturday, studying Italian and rewatching Gilmore Girls again for the millionth time…. Still skipping all the California parts in the “Here comes the son” episode.

Also, how did they take a train from London to Ireland?

Posted in History

3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table — Realm of History

When it comes to the history of incredible inventions, advanced mathematics was one of the major developments that came out of Mesopotamia. Pertaining to this ancient scope, the Babylonians had been in the forefront of devising fascinating new mathematical systems, including what we know today as the sexagesimal (base-60) numeral system. And now, as it…

via 3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table — Realm of History

Please have a read of this if you are at all interested in history like I am! I’ve been reading a lot about Babylon and Near-East civilisations and the script the tablet was written in is Cuneiform. It was written using a wedge shaped reed and consisted of angled markings pressed into wet clay, the text followed guidelines much like our modern day lined paper!

Yes, I have a book on this, check out Irving Finkel’s guide to writing Cuneiform. I bought clay and tools from Hobbycraft.

e x