Posted in Fitness, Food, Goals, Health, life, Musings

Resolutions 2018

So in the last post I touched on the idea of those pesky New Year’s Resolutions we start the year with, often without enough determination to see us past the middle of January. Or when we mess up, we throw them out altogether, as unattainable and pointless. But here I’ve compiled my list of things I want to constantly work on and improve forever, not just in the new year and not just until I have a bad day and ‘mess up’.

  1. Work more effectively – This is a big one for me, I’m a terrible procrastinator and will find 127309274930 other things to do instead of just getting on with the one piece of work that I need to get done urgently. But it’s more than not procrastinating, it’s making proper use of actual working time. I’ll need to get the Forest App or use the Pomodoro technique to help me focus again. Otherwise I can spend five hours attempting to do something while really spending most of that time being distracted.
  2. Be more mindful – Ooh, that’s a buzzword. It’s not a cliche, but I need to spend more time being in the moment when I’m doing something. This goes back to me becoming too distracted with things. Like when I studied Photography all I wanted to do was French, and when I was back doing French I had all these ideas for things I could have done with the resources I had in my Photography course. Not being in the moment can definitely lead to problems of regret and getting one’s ass kicked by hindsight later on.
  3. Stop living in the past – It’s a bad habit but I’m not alone and now that I have admitted it to myself I know it’s something to be worked on. Instead of ‘I should have done this when X happened’, I need to admit that all that has happened has happened the way I let it happened and the only thing I can control now is now and the future. It’s important to learn lessons from the past and apply them to our current/future situations but not to dwell on them as if we can change them.
  4. Do more of what I enjoy – This is a no brainer, but how often do you go to bed at night and are bombarded with thoughts about all the things you meant to do today or wished you’d made time to do… or feel guilty for not having done it? Well, it happens to me quite a lot. And I’m not talking out there wild stuff like flying off to Belgium every weekend (oh, if only!) but simple things like spending some time crocheting my lovely blanket that I’ve not touched in months, or going back to refresh some Italian grammar, writing a new blog post, trying out a new recipe. Simple, but often overlooked, especially in the madness of the working week, it is as important as meditation and self-care, you need to do a little soul feeding as well.
  5. Stop biting my finger nails – Yeah, I know, ick! I used to do it when I was a nervous little kid, then in high school I started growing some of my nails (weak nails though) and fell out of the habit… Then I moved to Spain and with the shitstorm of nerves and anxiety that that brought, I found myself suddenly back to biting. I can’t stop and I need to, but still my nails break really easily and then we’re back to square one. I bought really nice nail polishes from Avon so I would stop, only thing is I hate painting my nails (shaky hands).
  6. Be more careful with diet/alcohol consumption and exercise – This one has pretty much dealt with itself since the new year began. I wrote before how I keep getting ill, so my diet has been stripped back so much. I haven’t felt much like drinking any alcohol, just had a couple of small, low alcohol beers and stopped before any pain could appear. I haven’t been to the gym… much or at all in 2018 but working retail has kept me moving and on my feet, but I am determined to get back in asap before I lose the benefits of my retail induced weight loss. In regards to exercise, I’m back at full fitness since my accident last April, my knees dead on are still very tender but everything else seems to be working smoothly (fingers crossed) and it’s just a matter of getting started back at it and KEEPING MOVING! Being still is one of my favourite hobbies and I know it’s not a good thing.
  7. Being more assertive and not listening to others’ opinions – I’ve spoke about this before, but my life is my own and I’m in charge of what I do, will do, should do. My opinions are valid and my choices are mine to make… I need to believe more in myself, my choices and accepting that they might differ greatly from what other people think. You can’t be a people pleaser.

Well, that’s a fairly comprehensive list of all that I want to work/focus on in the coming year. But believe me, it’s by no means an exhaustive list. I may add to it as the months go by, and might even give it its own page too to serve me as a reminder of what I want 2018 to be.

Who else has made plans, goals, or wants to see change in 2018? Let me know in the comments below.


e x




Posted in Books, Films, Musings, Outings

Chill Time

Went into town yesterday to run a few errands and hit Starbucks because I wanted my free, extra stars they offered bribed me with. Cover photo is of my yummy soya latte and I started reading Robin Lane Fox’s book on Alexander the Great (which provided the context and inspiration of the Alexander film by Oliver Stone). I’m loving the book thus far and I have loved the movie for years, despite the naysayers. Ultimately, Alexander lived so long ago but left little primary sources behind and much of what we have to read about him was written by people centuries after him and cannot be held as wholly accurate. But neither can all the stories be dismissed, something had to be true. So in this book Fox is giving his own understandings of how things might have gone down, including all the sordid stuff.

Obviously every time I read about Alexander the Great I picture Colin Farrell. Not a bad thing at all.

Starbucks was really warm, which was a welcome respite from the freezing, icy, winter weather which seems to be staying. Couldn’t help overhearing the loud conversation next to me, most of which was boring and inaccurate, but it’s not proper to jump into someone’s conversation to correct them. Most painful part was when one girl gave her friend a bunch of presents (late birthday, I assume?) and then proceeded to ‘giftsplain’ every single present as she unwrapped it while the other girl had to feign interest. Eek!

Hasta luego!

P.S. I got a brand new copy of Robert Graves The Greek Myths for a fiver! From WHSmith in the sale section. So jazzed!

e x

Posted in Food, Health, University, work, Writing

Tempus Fugit

Can you believe we’re nearly three weeks into January and the new year?

Who’s broken/abandoned their New Year’s Resolutions already? I haven’t abandoned mine, just been a bit slower about them than I would have liked. Pretty much since the start of January my food issues have gotten worse, so I’m back to square one where I’ve stripped my diet back to the absolute basics as far as I can (again). Trying to make sure that everything I do eat is fresh, contains few ingredients, and healthy. I’ve started eating porridge again for breakfast every morning, thankfully Quaker now has their Protein Porridge out which I’m glad to say contains SOYA protein, and while the cinnamon one that I have contains a fair dollop of sugar (in the form of molasses) it’s not a big deal since I’m not consuming much other sugary products and it does keep me fuller for longer.

I’m only managing small portions these days and I’m erring on the side of being slightly not full than forcing myself to finish something, saves on terrible pain. Alas, the hardest part has been saying goodbye to eggs. I love eggs *cries* but I seem to be okay with eggs in things like pasta, noodles and the like. I’ve been drinking lots of green tea with lemon, because I had felt run down I wasn’t drinking as much coffee, and sore throats required something more than water. It’s working out well, even if I still hate the taste of tea, it’s growing on me.

I know I’ve been quite online the last few weeks, but I’ve been working a bit, the hours have dropped off since the Christmas period ended, so the time I have off I’ve been attempting to catch up on uni work that I missed during the mental season. I’m confident now that I know what I’m doing for my assessment, I had a crazy, stressed day a few weeks ago and an idea popped into my head almost completed formed, except I can’t decide on an ending. I know how I want it to end, but how to do it while maintaining my preferred level of creepy and avoiding cliche. The assessment itself does tie into my plans for the new year to work harder and more efficiently, not leaving everything to the last minute, so I’m trying to work smart and construct my other assignments as I go. I have to write a commentary of my script, which for the last assessment I had written a perfect version in my notebook during the night, forgot about it then half-assed one for the assessment and missed out valuable marks. Gah! So I want to be on it this time to save myself. Oh, and I found out that my marks for NEXT year is what decides my overall grade for the MA. I still want this years grades to improve drastically though.

You may be able to tell, I’m using this post to oil up my writing joints to get back to work.

Not sure I have much more to say now. We’ve had a lot of snow, guess who had to walk home from work in a blizzard the other night? Moi.

Anyway, back soon with more to say. Let me know if you all are keeping to your resolutions or not!

e x

Posted in History, Travel

Etruscan Settlement in Sardegna!

Back in 2017, archaeologists had come across a wealth of Etruscan-based discoveries, including an Etruscan temple on the ‘Mountain Of Jupiter’ and possibly the best-preserved Etruscan site in Italy. Well, this time around the scope beyond the confines of the Italian peninsula, to account for the Sardinian island which also seems to flaunt its Etruscan…

via For the first time ever, archaeologists discover an Etruscan settlement in Sardinia — Realm of History

Posted in Video Games

The Sims 4 PS4 Review

After three years, the Sims 4 finally arrived onto consoles mid-November this year. It has been a long-time coming for those who are strictly console but the release wasn’t quite as minimal as has been with previous releases in the past.

Although I waited a few weeks to purchase (as I wasn’t sure if I wanted/needed it given that I’ve bought almost the complete set on PC) I’ve decided to review the game for anyone who is still on the fence or just plain curious about this crossover.

First things first, I was surprised to see that the game is a straight copy of the PC version, like everything, down to the menu functions, the neighbourhoods and the characters available. Instantly I warmed to the game, not only was I already familiar and comfortable with the game play but it meant I could go back to old townies long since dead in my laptop version. The fact that you are playing on a console is never going to replace the speed of using a mouse and rapidly darting across the screen while pressing various buttons to fast forward time, move up and down between floors or even to view menus. However, it’s not the worst handling I’ve had on a sims console game so I won’t berate the programmers for what is the best version yet.

My biggest bug-bear with the controls is that I can’t keep the Needs panel visible while playing, it must be hidden in order to move around the screen otherwise. Again it’s not a major cause for concern, just a minor adjustment on my part to get used to playing like this.

The actual problems I’ve encountered are those which were issues in the Sims 3 on PC, game freezing, not saving, system crashing, and actions building up but not clearing. I played the game for most of the day yesterday and I had to restart my PlayStation about five times because of the game freezing and becoming unresponsive. HOWEVER! Despite being sickeningly annoyed at the prospect of having lost so much gameplay (the curse of TS3 but TS4 on PC has been a far more stable game) it turns out somehow I hadn’t lost any progress with my game. I’m not certain if there is an underlying autosave that I’m not aware of but I knew that my manual saves had been few and far between so it was a delightful surprise that my sims were safe and up to date.

I’ve played it for a few hours today and so far the only issues have been the action queues building and not clearing, but much like the PC version this will probably be fixed with travelling somewhere with the sim or just starting the game over again.

As I had mentioned earlier, as a new release we were treated to more than just the base game; there is the Vampire game pack and a few stuff packs available for purchase. I bought the triple gift set of Vampires, Luxury Party Stuff and City Living to boost the features of the game. In saying this I have purchased most of the additional packs for the PC version and while I was surprised that there were any packs available for the console, considering there has been a three year wait for this there really should have been more, if not all expansions readily available. A quote I read from another reviewer was that although this is probably the best PC to Console version of the Sims, no matter how you cut it, it’s still three years behind the PC version.

So for now I’ll probably give it 3.5 stars out of 5, not because it’s not fun, but simply that we’re lacking the extras of the PC version.

Posted in job hunting, Late Nights, life, work

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago…

I barely slept the night before Thursday 14th December as I knew I had an interview at 10am that morning. I had prepared, and had had ten days to prepare my presentation for it, but still I was unsettled about my impending performance and how it would be judged.

I dragged myself up, buzzed and nauseous at the same time and left early to get my bus. Despite the rumours of snow and bad weather I made it to my destination in plenty of time and without much hassle.

I cut my presentation into chunks stuck to large index cards to make it all look a bit more professional and after finding the right building and climbing a million stairs, I arrived about ten minutes ahead of time and was instructed to wait in the small dining area.

My interview started quite a bit after ten as they all seemed fairly casual about timing, then I stumbled into the small double-doored office but repeatedly informed that this wasn’t where interviews normally were conducted. I put any nerves aside and focused on the potential opportunity in front of me. I know things here in Glasgow are much different from what I was used to in Aberdeen, actually getting an interview is a much bigger deal here; the competition being infinitely more fierce.

It lasted all of fifty minutes with the two interviewers doing most of the talking. I believe I did do my best, but felt that their constant ‘sympathy’ of the horror of doing a presentation in front of two people kind of took my edge off. I’ve done hundreds of presentations like this, hundreds of times where I’ve put myself out of my comfort zone and had to think on my feet or speak while only pretending to feel confident, and yet… Something ultimately wasn’t enough, I didn’t get the job and received the rejection email six hours after the fact. I could over analyse and try to interpret where I went wrong, but without actual confirmation from them it really could have come down to an arbitrary point. However, the stats they sent me said 300 people applied for the job and I was one of 30 to be interviewed but only 12 were selected to be hired. There’s some consolation in that.

Anyway, the day was far from over.

I was starving and bolted to Wetherspoons straight after the interview and got the small breakfast and an avocado bagel… it was wonderful, considering I hadn’t eaten anything before it. The lack of sleep was wearing on me and I made for the bus to go home and sleep instead of a coffee refill. Thankfully, a bus appeared just as I got to the bus stop but suddenly my phone blasted the opening riff of ‘Sugar we’re goin’ down’ (my ringtone) and I awkwardly presented my bus ticket while trying to hear the person on the other end of the line.

Person: Hi, this is X from X at X, I was wondering if you’d be available for an interview today?

Me: Uh, sure. What time at?

Person: How about 2pm?

Me: Uh [checks watch to see suggested time is only an hour and a half from now] sure, I’ll see you then.

I came off the phone in shock and realised the ramifications of the spontaneity of the interview. I was in the middle of town, heading home and this place was the other end of the city, and I still had my job centre appointment at 4pm. So I did what had to be done and called in the support team.

The long and short of it is that by the time I got home there wasn’t much time to get a bus so I had to get a taxi to the shop and made it for a bit before two. I approached a staff member, was ushered into the back of the shop and met the boss. I didn’t even get to sit down when she asked to see ID, if I have full availability and can I start today. HA! Finally!

Of course I said yes, but would need to come back after the JC appointment. I headed straight there after my thirty second interview and my adviser and the person who questions people why they’re in the job centre were both thrilled for me and amazed that I had gotten something so quickly.

Then it was straight home to change and out to hunt for some food before getting to the place for half five to actually start… until 11:30pm.

So it’s been pretty much non stop since then, I’ve so far only had three days off but still have the next three days off to catch up on real-life stuff including uni work, this blog, and other writing stuff. I’m physically zonked from the constant standing around and bashing into things behind the counter, but I’m not emotionally drained which is the most important part for me. Still don’t miss the last job!

I hope everyone has had a really good holiday season and I’m sure we’re all looking to 2018 to be a much better year all round.

Hasta luego,

e x