Posted in Memories, Outings, Travel

Christmas Market – Glasgow 2017

Woo hoo!

So today was the first day that I’d properly had the chance to go around the Christmas market in Glasgow today. I took a few photos and videos of it this evening just after twilight. I only visited the George Square market, I’ll do the St Enoch’s one tomorrow.

I had a yummy bratwurst, a cinnamon and sugar crêpe, and a smashing cup of mulled wine which definitely warmed my upper half. My legs however, are still numb and probably will be for the foreseeable future. (Until April).

I’m definitely going back for the ninja face-mask-hood-thingy. £12 or two for £20. It covers your head like a hood and has a face panel, so I can be a member of the League of Shadows plus protect my sinuses. Especially since today started at -4 degrees (c) and is drawing to a close at -7 (c). Meep. I can’t do extreme weathers! Can I go back to that balmy 23 degrees in Granada in April 2015… or even the 20 degree St Patrick’s Day/Night the month before! But not the 40+ temperature in Madrid in June 2015. Heh. Weather mems.

Hasta luego!

e x

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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 Memories, Music

1976-2017

Yesterday was the first time I was able to bring myself to listen to Linkin Park since Chester’s suicide. I listened to most of the Reanimation album (a few tracks were missing from my phone) since way back when it was my favourite LP album.

It’s hard to think back and remember how LP were such a massive part of my life when I was a young teenager. I had to have my own copies of the albums, Reanimation came out around one of my birthdays and was an extra treat, then Meteora dropped in 2003 and I swear I listened to that album everyday for about 40 days straight.

In November 2003 Linkin Park did their UK tour with their first ever date in Glasgow. I had already bought a ticket but I ended up winning a radio competition on Beat 106 and not only won 2 more tickets but also won backstage passes for my friends and I. It was the absolute greatest night of my life, the night before I turned 15, and solidified how much I loved LP and Chester.

I have fond memories of those few years, in the vacuum between albums I of course got interested in other bands like My Chemical Romance and Placebo (the latter to an obsessive point) and won countless radio competitions to win tickets for them and merchandise. The point is, despite school and reality, I had music to fall back on, I had my bands I could count on to make me feel better, to protect me in a little bubble world when I didn’t have the answers to the big things myself. The words Chester sang and screamed fit perfectly with my own feelings of angst and confusion and I am so much a better person for having been able to work through it all with his help. My only regret, and one I know everyone is and will be feeling, is that Chester didn’t get this same escape and closure to his angst and demons, or not enough of it, at least.

I’m sorry as the years went by and communications became easier, I’m sorry I didn’t just tweet or message the profound impact he and his band had on me. They made me want to do better, to work harder and more passionately. And they proved that dreams do come true. I’m still struggling to tie this happy part of my teenage-hood with the harsh realities I’ve faced myself and understand as an adult, I don’t know that I ever will, and I don’t know that I need to; the happiest memory I have is what will keep his memory alive.

e x