A Room with a View

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where I'm at...Part 1

It's been blogging-lite around here again recently. I know why I haven't been writing. I think it's the blogging equivalent of hiding away underneath the bedcovers. I'm not blogging because I've convinced myself that if I don't write about things, I won't think about them and then they won't bother me so much. Of course, it doesn't work like that. I don't write about things, but burying my head under the covers doesn't make my fears and worries go away, it doesn't stop me from thinking about them...it just makes them more scary. It's just me and them in the dark.
This realization isn't anything new. I think I've always gone into myself when I'm bothered by something, as though dealing with it all internally will make it less real. To stop people realising how I feel I tend to over-compensate by being very bubbly and upbeat. When I was severely depressed last year, I'm sure that nobody would have guessed. I could be awake all night sobbing uncontrollably and be barely able to muster the strength to get out of bed, but you might see me a few hours later cheering others up and joking around. I don't think it's because I want to hide things from others (I'm a pretty open person), I think it's more that if I admit something to someone else then I can't avoid admitting it to myself. I think I am getting better with this, I've made a real effort to be entirely honest with (at least) my therapist and husband as to how I feel about both big and small things in life. I know that acknowledging my thoughts and feelings will help me to deal with them, especially as I've never been good at blocking things out of my mind anyway. I know that by not getting things out into the open, they just boil up inside of me and drive me crazy. I know all this, yet still I find it difficult to open up.
I started this blog in part because I wanted to be more open. I wanted to post about all sorts of things, and I wanted to at least occasionally post my thoughts and feelings about different aspects of my life. I'd like to write about the challenges I face, the day-to-day happenings of my life, my concerns, my successes... I've not been so good at that recently. I've been waiting for everything to 'get better' before I wrote more. I've realized that my need for things to be 'better' is driven by my need for certainty, answers and stability.
I crave all three of those things. I've had enough of not knowing whether or not we will ever sell our house. I need some more answers to my medical problems, not more questions. And, I need to work out what in the hell is going on with my PhD and other professional matters since I moved away from my grad school city. Everything's just a big mess, and as another year draws to an end, I want some certainty and direction. But I can't wait forever...
I've been back in Sleepy Boring Village for nearly six months and I'm behaving as though I'm waiting for bloody Godot. I'm not living my life because I'm constantly waiting for it to improve. I've got to do something about that...
I've waffled, I've rambled and I'm sure I've lost the interest of anyone who has managed to read this far, but I did at least write vaguely what I wanted. I now want to write some posts on more concrete subjects, such as moving, my academic work, my health, my future plans etc. I feel that if I at least write about where I'm at with them right now, I'll be able to think things through more clearly and gradually make progress. I hope so. Thanks for sticking around...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What every blogger wants to find in their Christmas Stocking...

Dash to the bookstore...Go online...Update your Christmas Wish List...It's out now!
I'm sure that most readers of this blog will read Julie's blog too and will know all about her new book already. But if not, you should definitely check it out. It's about blogging with Blogger, and as Julie's a total whizz at all of this stuff, and always manages to explain complex subjects very clearly and simply, I've no doubt it will be an immensely useful resource. (Julie gave me a sneak preview of a section on blogrolling last week when my blogroll disappeared, and I managed to get my blogroll back super-fast and without the slightest hint of an anxiety attack!). There's also a blog about the book that contains lots more info.
So....go...go...go...buy..buy...buy! :)

B* has bunnies...

B* has bunny ones, but I'm hoping that Santa may bring me these...

They're just the cutest kitty slippers ever, and some of the money raised from selling them goes to a charity that helps cute fluffy animals. It's a win-win situation. :)

Friday, November 25, 2005


I've managed to delete my blogroll from my template. It's still all on my blogrolling account, but I just can't work out how I managed to get the html code into my template in the first place. I've tried copying the code from my blogrolling account into one of the 'Edit-Me' links on my template, but it's not working. Can someone way smarter than me remind me how I ever managed to do this? I miss my blogroll. :(
Many, many thanks in advance. (If you'd rather e-mail than comment, my e-mail is roomwithaviewblog@hotmail.co.uk.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

My Three Thanksgivings...

Being English, I didn't experience Thanksgiving celebrations until two years ago. It was my first year as a grad student in OUE City and two of my closest friends were from the States. One of their Dads was so upset that his daughter (actually, both of his daughters, as her sister was visiting with us at the time) would be away from home for Thanksgiving for the first time, that he paid for her to take a bunch of us out to dinner. It certainly wasn't a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we went to a French restaurant close by where we lived, but it was really fun to hear about the different traditions that our friends and their families had for this particular holiday. We even played the game that one friend played every single year. We each wrote down two things that we were thankful for (some meaningful, some pretty frivolous), mixed them up, read them out and then we all tried to guess who wrote which one. It was fun, I think mainly because I got to experience a little of a holiday that had never been part of my life before.
Last year was a little different, but I did get to celebrate with my American and non-American grad school friends. Instead of going out, we had an international potluck meal, and everyone brought a dish that was traditional (or at least influenced) by their home country. It was awesome, as in the building I lived in there were 24 students of 17 different nationalities, so the range of food was immense. And, in honour of Thanksgiving, I ate my first and only Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Ewwwww! It was gross. I totally don't understand why so many people love it. One of my friends literally held a knife to me to make me eat it, and even then I only managed a little. Ewww. Ewww. Ewww. :-(
This year I'm back home with LLH, so not celebrating Thanksgiving in any real way, unless you count the fact that I'm having to watch the Thanksgiving NFL Game (of course, being an Atlanta Fan, LLH is pretty happy right now). But I do feel like I've celebrated a virtual Thanksgiving through many of your blogs. Reading about your plans, your journeys, your food, your families, your stresses and your traditions has definitely spread a little holiday warmth across the Atlantic to the Pink Cupcake House. And so, I raise my glass (yes, any excuse for a glass of red wine!) to all my bloggy pals in the States...Happy Thanksgiving to you all! :)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Non-Random Ten: You and Me

  • Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know" Jagged Little Pill
  • The Beach Boys "Do You Wanna Dance?" The Very Best of The Beach Boys
  • Divine Comedy "Everybody Knows (Except You)" A Short Album About Love
  • Manic Street Preachers "You Stole The Sun From My Heart" Forever Delayed
  • REM "You Are The Everything" Green


  • Franz Ferdinand "Take Me Out" Franz Ferdinand
  • Green Day "Wake Me Up When September Ends" American Idiot
  • Puddle of Mudd "She Hates Me" Come Clean
  • REM "Me In Honey" Out of Time
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers "Don't Forget Me" By The Way

Monday, November 14, 2005

How about 'Monday Rat Blogging'?!

I have to laugh. My life can't get much more ridiculous. I spent the morning freaking out about my appointment with the gynaecologist, which, in the event, was actually both good and bad. Good in that I now know what's wrong (at least gynaecologically speaking, my muscular/skeletal issues are still a work in progress) and that it's nothing life threatening. But bad in that it will be complicated to resolve. So, I came home from the hospital feeling quite relieved but also a bit frustrated that I couldn't be 'fixed' simply, only to find my neighbour waiting to tell me that we have rats. YES. BIG. HORRIBLE. ICKY. RATS.
We live in a terrace of five joined houses, and apparently, if one of us has rats, then we all do. Nothing like neighbourly sharing. The little darlings are currently in our attics and crawling around our internal walls. Ick. Strangely, I'm not particulary scared of them (spiders and bugs, yes...real animals, no), but I'm more than a little bothered that they will hamper our never ending efforts to sell our house. I have visions of a rat appearing on the kitchen work surface (waving its little paws and doing the tango) just as a potential buyer enters the room. Is the entire universe hell bent against me ever moving away from Sleepy Boring Village?! I can just imagine it, the rat catcher's van in the driveway as the lovely potential buyers enter the road. It's too funny. Well, it's not, but we're trying so hard to move, it just seems funny that we are always thwarted by matters outside our control. What next? The plague of locusts?!
Despite all this, I'm in a much better mood than I've been in ages. I think I'm more relieved than I'm letting on to have at least clarity (if not resolution) about some of my medical problems. I always fear the worst, and anything better than that is a huge relief for me. It really has been draining, but I do feel stronger and more together about things now. That said, if I find a rat in my bed tonight, you'll probably all hear me, no matter how far away you are. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Llama Blogging

I'm still waiting to get a cat, so in the meantime Llama blogging will have to do. We saw these whilst out locally today. They were very cute...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Not Really At All Random 10...

I had a pretty good totally random ten coming along as I listened to the shuffle whilst cleaning the house for viewings today. As I was armed with a duster and vacuum cleaner I couldn't write down the songs immediately, and the multitude of cleaning products clearly fried my brain as I couldn't remember them an hour later. Screw being random, but I also wasn't feeling in a theme mood. So I bring you ten songs that simply took my fancy as I scrolled through my itunes library...
  • REM "Why Not Smile?" Up
  • Feeder "Buck Rogers" Echo Park
  • Bowling For Soup "Girl All The Bad Guys Want" Drunk Enough to Dance
  • Deep Blue Something "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Home
  • Erasure "A Little Respect" The Very Best Hits of Erasure
  • Foo Fighters "Monkey Wrench" The Colour and The Strength
  • They Might Be Giants "Birdhouse In Your Soul" Flood
  • Meredith Brooks "Bitch" Blurring the Edges
  • The Strokes "Last Night" Is This It?
  • Four Non Blondes "What's Up?" Bigger, Better, Faster, More!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Just checkin' in...

I haven't posted in a while because I'm still not feeling well, and life seems to be little more than trying to make myself as comfortable as possible and going to my various medical appointments. I don't want to write about it because I just don't want to think about it anymore than I already do. I also don't want to just write whiney posts, and they all seem to come out that way at the moment. I'm really hoping that things will turn a corner soon. I'm sure I'll feel a lot more positive if I feel I'm getting just a little bit better.
In the meantime, I might try writing some anecdotes from my past or some other jollier stuff - I'd really like to keep writing something - but inspiration and motivation are evading me right now.
Whilst I'm being slack, I'm loving reading all of your blogs, so please keep posting, posting, posting... :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Telephone Therapy...

I'm not a huge fan of speaking on the telephone. Sure, I can chat away for ages to family and good friends, and I make all the professional calls that I need to competently enough, but I've always felt a bit awkward on the telephone. I don't think it's actually speaking on the phone that's the problem, but more a fear that I won't communicate what I'm trying to say effectively and will embarrass myself and confuse the listener. A few years ago I did a lot of telephone canvassing and fundraising calls at election times, but this didn't bother me at all, and I think this was because I was anonymous (we would just introduce ourselves as representatives of our party). I still find it strange though, as in person I'm outwardly confident about speaking with all sorts of people, and even addressing large groups doesn't phase me, and of course that's not anonymous at all. I think it's because I'm more comfortable with face-to-face contact. I can see how the other person is responding, and small silences are not awkward. I'm also comfortable with writing, which is why I often choose e-mail, rather than telephone, when I want to communicate something important or difficult. Again, I'm sure it's because I feel more in control of something that's in writing, something which is less likely to be misunderstood.
And so, it will be no surprise to hear that I was more than a little concerned when my therapist suggested that we have a telephone session. It was incredibly nice of her to offer, as I've had to cancel my last couple of appointments because I haven't felt well enough to travel to OUE City, but I wasn't sure how it would work out. I was oddly nervous even though I'd be sitting on my sofa with a cup of coffee, and about 20 minutes before my therapist was due to call I sat down (just as I do in her waiting room) to collect my thoughts together. She called and it was really helpful to talk a few things out with her. It wasn't awkward at all, perhaps because she is good at reading a person's reactions even without being able to see them. It made me resolve to try a bit harder with telephone calls in future...


Further proof that I'm losing it. LLH has really been trying hard to take my mind off feeling unwell. He's been really good at just chatting to me about all kinds of stuff. This moring he told me that he'd heard a story on the radio about a panda that had escaped from some kind of animal park in Birmingham about four days ago and hadn't yet been found. It's a cute little red panda. LLH informed me that experts thought the panda would be just fine as it mostly just eats fruit and climbs trees, so it would probably climb into a tree in someone's garden and eat berries. But aren't they forgetting something here?! This is Birmingham. A big city. Wouldn't the poor panda risk getting run over, or trapped, or captured before even getting near a garden?? I was so worried about the cute fluffy little thing. Poor LLH, he was trying to cheer me up with eccentric news stories, but it just freaked me out. I've been thinking about him all morning. I'm so soppy.
So, you can imagine my relief when LLH e-mailed me this just now... Yay, they've found Babu! Not that I think he should live in a zoo, but when the alternative is being run over by a bus, I'm just glad he's going to be safe. Awwww. :)