Posted in The Quarantine Diaries, Writing

Coming Up

I’m in organisation mode right now, at home and online. So while I’m taking a quick break from cleaning my house I wanted to let you all know what I’ve got planned for evallone.com in the coming weeks.

Armchair Traveller

Since quarantine is still ongoing, it doesn’t look like we’re travelling anywhere new anytime soon – the next best option? Memories! I’m trawling through my archives; photos and journals, and I’ll be writing up posts of my favourite places, things to do, and best experiences. I’ll also be giving advice on sites in and around Glasgow like museums and great days out.

52- Week Challenge

The last 30-day blogging challenge was fun but a bit hefty trying to post everyday. I found a good year long weekly challenge that’ll allow me to share a little more stuff with everyone but without being so spammy. Here’s a copy of the challenge if you want to join in.

52-week challenge. Credit: Adventures with Amanda

Diversions

Obviously, I’ve still being crocheting nearly every day. Though I did lose my crojo for a bit, more that I couldn’t get any patterns to work for me. Damn v-shaped scarves! I guess sometimes watching videos instead of reading patterns can cause a little difficulty… and trying to work on multiple projects at the same time isn’t a great idea. One ball at a time!

Giant round granny blanket

I finished watching all 12 seasons of Bones a few weeks ago! It was epic and sad, I won’t spoil it but the ending was not what I expected, but for once a show had a decent ending! Naturally that spawned a ‘watching’ slump, I have Ally McBeal for my lawyer show, Grey’s Anatomy and New Amsterdam for medical shows, The Walking Dead for zombies, Winona Earp, Vanessa Van Helsing and Grimm for weirdo shows… so I had no normal crime shows. I dabbled a bit in NCIS a few times and it’s good but I’m not hooked yet… I am however addicted now to Criminal Minds, criminally so. Sorry. I’m nearly on season 3, in a matter of days… How have I never seen this show before? Led by the delightful Mandy Patinkin (also known as Saul in Homeland – I’m also catching up with that) the team is the BAU, Behavioural Analysis Unit within the FBI who profile and catch killers. It’s not Bones but the story lines are compelling and the dialogue is quick-fire and witty.

Books

I just finished reading Lonely Planet’s How to be a Travel Writer by Don George and Janine Eberle, while detailed and insightful, it was also dreadfully negative and off-putting. Perhaps some would say it’s realist but after reaching the last page, I feel far less-inclined now to pursue any kind of travel writing. The suggestions seem to be that if you’re lucky enough to already be loaded then go fly off somewhere and experience the life and culture then come home and write a bunch of articles with different slants and send them off to magazines and newspapers and hope you make a few hundred quid off them. Otherwise, the game is already over for you. Maybe I’m more of a dreamer, I’d like to believe that sometimes things can just work out. In the mean time, I’ll be writing all my travel stuff on here and attempt some other publications soon.

I’ve also ended my Kindle Unlimited subscription because I already have a ton of books in the house and purchased on my kindle (and audible) that I need to get through. Plus I realised that I’ve had most of the same books in my KU library for years so I’m paying £7.99 a month for nothing. I’ve put Audible on pause for a few months, I have a decent stack of books to get through and some are lectures so are 20+ hours and I have IT by Stephen King which clocks in close to 50 hours.

And I’m working on my novel, I promise. I’m feeling very inspired right now, especially since the new Dresden Files book, Peace Talks, is launching in July (likely the only good thing to happen in 2020) so I want to plough through as much of mine as I can before then.

Anyone started a new show? Or enjoying a new book? Let me know!

e x

Posted in Crafts

So I had to give up crochet

For the sake of my health, it was the sensible thing to do.

And it was the hardest fucking day of my life!

Crojo Extreme

I’ve been crocheting almost non-stop for the last few weeks. It’s a great diversion and allows me just to focus on my stitches and not panic about… everything. I usually listen to an audiobook or some soft jazz and just chill. Normally after a couple of days of stitching up a storm, I would get a stiff shoulder or my fingers and wrists would hurt too much to keep going, and I kept waiting for it to happen but it didn’t. Until two days ago when my shoulder crunched. I’m fighting an old injury here from my retail days of hauling boxes for a living, the pain was awful and my fingers started to swell and ache. Thus I had to admit defeat.

Recovery is Hard

I woke, stiff and achy, but my hands were itching to get crafting. I’ve been so inspired lately I just keep thinking of great projects to work on. But I needed a break. So I read on the kindle and a real physical book (hard to do while crocheting, hence audiobooks), watched some TV (hard to do while not crocheting) and horror of horrors I tidied my house (a bit). I felt like such a wee crochet junkie, I even had to console myself by holding a hook and ordering some more yarn!

Crochet Forever

Well now that that is behind me for the time-being, I’m planning projects especially single-ball blankets and scarves as I’m hoping to build up a wee stash of made things and to eventually launch an etsy shop to sell my products once lockdown is over. I get pretty good feedback and I’ve had people interested in what I make but as much as I gift things sometimes, it would be nice for the value to be appreciated too.

This is a snippet of how I’m coping in lockdown, how’s everyone else getting on? Picked up any new hobbies or rediscovered old ones? Let me know all about it in the comments below!

e x

Posted in Crafts

Crochet Updates

I’ve been promising for ages to do this, but time and space to take photos were a problem. However, today I’m showing off some of my recent creations/works-in-progress (WIPs).

First up is my giant blanket made with Bernat Blanket Stripes.

As you can see I played yarn chicken and lost four stitches from the end. I’ll probably need to wait a few paydays before I can buy more of this yarn. It’s a super chunky, around a size 8 I think, but I used a 12mm hook in the double v-stitch to make the most of the size of the yarn. At the moment it is big enough side-ways to cover me to my feet but the plan is to keep going as long as I can for it to cover my arm chair in the living room (because it’s red and my sofa is blue) not complaining about free furniture though.

Next up is my other blue blanket worked in the single moss stitch and with Painbox Chunky pots yarn. I’m using a 6mm hook and currently on the second ball (I bought many in the sale).

And lastly we have my Caron Cake corner to corner scarf, my first ever Caron Cake might I add. I was incredibly uncertain just given how expensive it is but I think it turned out lovely and just one ball too. Worked in a 5.5mm hook or a 5mm, can’t remember.

Ignore my feet.

And everything looks squinty on the floor because I couldn’t be bothered spending ages flattening it all out. My edges are very straight, I promise!

Anyway, those are just a few of my creations. As I unpack more I’ll get pictures of the things I made as presents but then didn’t get gifting to anyone in the end :/

Let me know if you’re into crochet or making things!

e x

Posted in University, Writing

Dissertation Update #7

It’s been a wee while between updates thanks to health stuff and not knowing what is causing me to still feel so ill.

Anyway! I’ve been working away bit by bit and last night I hit the 10k words mark! Woohoo! Then today I started four new crochet projects because I’m procrochetenating finishing the excerpt.

I’ve sat back down at my desk, lit some candles, have the Gladiator soundtrack playing and cracking on back to work. My hook is next to me once I earn a break.

I’m itching to get back to normal stuff again, gaming and reading. My goodreads challenge is getting out of control so I’ll be speed reading through my TBR list after October 3rd!

Good news is coming soon, I’ll tell you all closer to the time 🙂

e x

Posted in Health, rant

Persistent

I had so many plans, and yet…

The tonsillitis refused to clear properly, I returned to work after my sick-line and finished my antibiotics. It was too much, I wasn’t ready. Then I was off again. Then back again, and just as I started to think I knew what I was doing the confusion returned, the agonising migraine-like headaches returned and my glands have swollen so much I now have a triple chin. Couldn’t get through to the docs for ages, next weekday off I still couldn’t get to see anyone but got another phone consult and told they need to take blood as it’s probably Glandular Fever (mono). But of course I can’t get bloods taken for another week because of so few appointments.

The doc told me I’d be ill for the next six months and there’s nothing they can do for me, even when they confirm it as GF. Because it’s viral. This is going to be a fun bumpy month while I discover just how supportive or not my work is and whether I can muster enough creative energy during my malaise to finish my dissertation to a decent enough standard after working so hard for the last two years.

I’ve been keeping myself entertained with audiobooks and crochet for as long as my ears can stand the noise. Even the lack of noise is painful so then I just try to sleep. I’m very frustrated with being ill. I am very hard on myself when I feel I should be able to leap tall buildings yet get vertigo by standing up.

This too shall pass, I suppose.

I’ll start posting some pictures of my crochet when I remember to.

e x

Posted in Health, life, rant, Writing

Figurative Ledges

So the summer is drawing to a close and there’s not been much to speak of weather-wise. I’ve been working, studying, and beating myself up about all the other things I don’t have time or energy to do – including blogging.

I’m currently still in the process of recovering from the worst bout of Tonsilitis I’ve ever had. It’s been bad before but it’s the first time the doctor has given me a massive dose of antibiotics – although I went on the Friday and she stated I’d be fine for work on the Monday. Riiight. So here I am, a week later and still not back at work yet. My throat no longer looks like an alien laid eggs around my raw tonsils but everything else is still funky. My right ear, (a.k.a the bad one) has taken to gurgling every time I hear sound, my glands pulse every time I move, and my eyes are making my brain swim when I stare at the computer screen, but I’m in training for returning to work on Monday.

Other than when I’m having dietary issues I get sick around my head, usually the sinuses and ENT so it’s only the second time this year I’ve been so horrifically ill. At Christmas we were visited by plague-ridden guests who made Madre and I ill for two weeks and I lost my sense of smell and taste for six days. True fact, I ate from a jar of Jalapeños as if they were cucumber, nor could I smell the tub of Vicks.

Obviously with these types of sickness, you can’t do the normal things to pass the time like listening to music, watching tv, or playing video games… So I read, after a few days I could stand just to read from normal books. Some Dante, Homer, Mary Wollstonecraft and then my Latin grammar book. I find solace in my nerdy habits.

I’m behind on my dissertation, I’m gutted about the last mark I received but I finished it while battling an ear thing that was the lead up to the tonsillitis; but at least I passed. The dissertation is due in about a month and a half. But of course I signed up to another TEFL course for teaching young children and I have mere days to finish the assignments for that… Naturally, the stress has been piling on me and through lack of being able to do anything without suddenly being whomped by exhaustion or my head spinning, so the darkness/dementors has been moving in – hence distracting myself with Latin and that I’ve barely made a dent in my classics books.

Another recent habit when my ears aren’t acting up is listening to audiobooks and crocheting. I’ve ploughed through The Stand by Stephen King and the Scarlet Bernard books by Melissa F. Olsen and now I have several of the Great Courses lectures downloaded too. Right now listening to the Foundations of Western Civilization by Professor Thomas Noble, so amazing and in only thirty minute lectures I’ve been getting through them quite quickly.

I’m not back to my usual self yet, a lot of other stuff has happened that’s not helping how I’m feeling, but I know I can only take one day at a time, and right now I think it’s time for bed and some of the Iliad.

e x

Posted in Health, life, Musings

Hiatus

So I went quiet for a while…

Things got a bit dark; dragons and ineffective coffee – I even stopped playing the Sims.

I couldn’t post on social media (not properly), everything I thought seemed to bland and uninteresting to tell anyone about.

Like I said, darkness and dragons.

But, I’ve slowly regained my spark, crocheting and audiobooks of all things helped serve as a distraction. Mass job applications drained me psychically so I binged on Bones and Lucifer for inspiration. I plotted gifts I could crochet for everyone’s birthdays this year since up until two weeks ago I was very, very broke. (Still skint but not very.)

Now I’m fairly settled into a new job, that while I’m still learning and it’s still new, it’s not as overwhelmingly terrifying as the beginnings of a new job usually is. Mostly because everyone wants to help and wants us all to succeed. Despite the ridiculously early mornings and long days, I’m coping well and not so mentally drained as with other jobs. Trying to be productive on the weekends is something I’m still wrestling with but I’m getting there.

I’ve a couple of days off just now to work on my next assessment, due on Thursday, but after some weeks of avoiding it, I have a pretty good grasp on what needs to be done and have lots of notes and drafts. I do need to start thinking of the bigger picture, i.e. the dissertation which will start to sook up all my free time and thoughts.

I’ve been to events and gone to new restaurants in the last months, so I definitely have plenty to blog about… just sitting down to do it is always the hardest part. However, see the picture above – that’s my new dedicated outdoor writing space in the garden. The weather has turned nice again so I want to make the most of it while I can. I need to write and study but there’s nothing wrong with being out soaking up some vitamins while I’m doing it.

Anyway, it’s past my bedtime but I’ll start writing more posts tomorrow to schedule. I promise not to abandon the blogosphere for so long again!

e x

Posted in Blogging Challenge, Musings, Writing

30 Blogging Challenge – Day #2

Day 2 – 20 facts about you

  1. I’m proudly Scottish and European. I love my country and showing it off to visitors.
  2. I’m a language addict. English is my native language, Italian is my best second language. I can cope in Spanish (reading’s fine, and mostly listening – it’s the speaking I have trouble with) and I can get by in French. I’m constantly trying to self-teach Dutch and Greek. I’ve also studied Latin and Swedish.
  3. I’m afraid of death, electricity, and bananas.
  4. Zombies. Can’t wait.
  5. I’m a Bruce Campbell uber-fan. Hercules, Xena, Evil Dead, Burn Notice… don’t get me started!
  6. I love Batman, but I’m a Nolan purist. Nothing can beat Christian Bale as the Dark Knight. I have no time for Fatfleck.
  7. Sharks, bumblebees, dogs (especially Pitties) are my favourite animals (fight me!) And llamas/alpacas… pigs and goats. Love them all. Except cats, jellyfish, starfish, most marine species.
  8. Apparently I don’t look my age. My age causes shock.
  9. I’m left-handed.
  10. My hair is naturally “dirty-fair” so is neither blonde nor brown enough to look nice and is a weird flat grey colour. I’ve been dying my hair since I was 13.
  11. I haven’t learned to drive… yet.
  12. I waste hours looking at Studyblrs and studyspo on tumblr… when I have my own studying to be doing.
  13. I have an MA in Hispanic Studies, a post-graduate Certificate in Humanities, I’m in my second year of an MA in Creative Writing, and I’m starting a C.Ed in Italian.
  14. I’m a writer – but a lazy one. Trying to hold myself to my own deadlines gets more fruitless as the years go on. So I’m studying CW to have something else hold me accountable.
  15. Pretty much everything I know about American Culture comes from TV and books: Sesame Street, Gilmore Girls, the West Wing… And the OC and Sweet Valley. I cried when I went to high school and we didn’t have lockers.
  16. We went camping a lot when I was a kid. I used to have an obsession with the outdoor water taps. Still do.
  17. I’ve met famous people. Austin St. John who played Jason in the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I was taken onstage with the Singing Kettle and performed in the opening song for the show. I won backstage passes to meet Linkin Park. I shook hands with Willie Nelson and his sister after their show. I briefly met Sandi Thom when she was punting her album in Borders, Jodi Picoult when she was punting her book in Borders, Dave Gorman but he was punting his book in Waterstones and there was a heckler. I met Story of The Year after their show. Kitty and Steve from Mindless Self Indulgence. Bullet for my Valentine. Nice Peter from Epic Rap Battles of History. Maggie Stiefvater when she did a talk in the Mitchell then stayed to sign everyone’s books! Oh, and Jared Leto and the guys from 30 Seconds to Mars… not a great story.
  18. I love to Crochet, it helps to relax me.
  19. I’m a Classical History nerd. I wrote my dissertation on the Roman Conquest of Hispania. I’m dying to visit Carthage in Tunisia and Cartagena in Spain!
  20. My diet is Veganish. I haven’t eaten dairy for a while now and every few months my body decides to reject another food type so I’m on a stripped back diet. I identify as Veganish because sometimes it’s too hard to explain what no-dairy means to people who aren’t sure what dairy even is. Thus, the vegan option is the safe option. I still eat beef and turkey and some fish but not constantly as I love quick easy meals without worrying about meat going off.

You survived it! Gold star for you!

e x