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Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

I probably need to not write these on the following Tuesday afternoon as most of it escapes me, but here goes.

A better working situation

Work got better this week, possibly because we lost another contractor and so now they’re not actually overstaffed and I’m picking up her overflow of work. Or, I stopped being mildly stressed out and hibernating about life and responsibilities and actually started to drive this process. Or I realised that this place is not like my previous workplace (duh!) and that my former boss was fantastic in the way she gave feedback, I’m not going to get that here and I should just use it as a chance to practice other skills.

Reflection and growth

It was a week of reflecting on the past, the future, the current and trying to establish what has changed and what needs to change. Some of this has been, and continues to be rather difficult and exhausting. By the end of the week I was in tears while talking to Jed “just… wanting… it… to… stop.” I’ve done so much growth and change and work on myself over the past 2.5 years that I was hoping for a bit of a break. Apparently no. Assuming that it’s going to get easier when you move to an entirely different country is a rather silly assumption. Add to this that communication and working on our stuff is part of what makes Jed and I work, and we’ve both made a concious commitment to not sweep things under the carpet, then it is very silly to assume it’s not going to be exhausting at time. Worthwhile, definately, but also exhausting.

On the plus side I can feel patterns and assumptions I’ve been carrying for years starting to untangle and be voiced. Fears of failure and not being good enough and people being disappointed with me if I say what I really think and feel are slowly being addressed. Untangling a whole new ball of emotional wool, discovering a couple more issues onions that I need to get to the centre of, which I’ve done before and can do again and I know that at the end of it these particular submerged fears will be less problematic. Just the getting there is tough.

There was some cool stuff that came out of this reflection.

I drew up a timeline of the people and ideas and stages and events from the last 2.5 years, which was an interesting excercise in where I’d been and what had drastically changed.

I realised that one of my behavioural patterns developed during a very specific period in my twenties and if I could catch the first stages of that behaviour and remember that it wasn’t always like this then maybe it could change.

I’m working on convincing inner me that I am actually an adult who’s allowed to be heard and doesn’t have to be invisible anymore.

And Jed and I started to plan out a future where he gets to be the thing he’s always wanted to be and I get to practice all the things I’m really good at. That’s been quite exciting, and means that very shortly I’ll be getting out big pieces of paper and coloured pens to write and draw diagrams and plans and lists, one of my favourite things. We’re also getting closer to working out what we need to do to move to London for a year. By Christmas.

Stuff we did (or where’s the photos! and you’ve not mentioned the lego yet, for once)

What with all that reflection and growth we didn’t really do a lot of ‘things’ this week. Although I forgot my camera, so there’s no photos.

Friday night Jed got carded at the local supermarket for the alcohol he was trying to buy, but was refused as he didn’t have photo ID (32!!). I didn’t have any ID either. So we went to our local and laughed with them. Then a bat was discovered in the pub and we both had a lovely time helping to shoo it out and generally just watching it fly around. They are truly stunning. I can understand why you’d instictively be scared, but a bat is never going to hit you because of it’s sonar.

Saturday we went to Brighton for brunch, just because Redhill has not-even-close-to-Newtown-standard cafes and I was seriously craving such a venue. We eventually found a place that did crepes, with the right sort of staff, decor and music, and had a lovely breakfast. At 12.30. Then shopping. CDs, window shopping, and lego (see, told you!), which means my medical centre is almost, almost finished.

Sunday we went to Kew Gardens with one of my oldest friends and her boyfriend. Wandered around lots of trees, looked at fish, had tea and cake, climbed through a very large replica badger sett (and avoided collecting any of the myriad of children that were also crawling around inside the drakish tunnels), sat in front of the Japanese garden section, and then went back to their place for a late BBQ. Lovely! The National Garden photographer of the year exhibition was on, so we also got to look at gorgeous photos. So gorgeous that Jed bought the book so we can keep looking at them.

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not yet opened

After purchasing the Cafe Corner last month, (all photos of the model as now here) and getting out the lego that was shipped over with all my belongings, I’ve re-discovered the fun of lego model building. And discovered that I’m not the only one. There’s, not-surprisingly, entire communities out there, commonly called Adult Fans of Lego (AFOL).

I’ve spent some time over the last few weeks browsing various blogs and flickr sets looking at what other people have built based on the specifications for lego buildings inspired by this particular set and getting ideas (and I accidentally found this post via a completely different blog, it amused me lots, I feel like I’m making a similar confession). I’ve also realised that I’ve previously had a much more expensive, equally creative and yet bizarre hobby, aka the SCA, so if I choose to spend money on lego there’s no real problem. Oh, and there’s a pick-and-mix option on the lego.co.uk site, and a lego designer software which allows you to design a model, price it and then request a custom shipment. My first one should arrive this week. On the wishlist for birthday and Christmas are the Greengrocer and Fire Station sets.

By Tuesday I’d worked out that I had enough pieces from medical related lego sets I received as a child to build a quite decent medical clinic based on these specs. So, most of my spare time this week has been spent doing that. It’s gone through about 3 re-builds so far, as I’ve played with decoration, placement of the stair case and internal walls. The delivery this week will get me a black tiled roof, and enough pieces to hopefully finish it off. Well, except for a basement and a small access ramp I want to build…

Wednesday Jed and I went on the first of what might become regular weeknight a’ventures. We decided on dinner in London, specifically chinese dumplings and a colleague recommended a place in the Chinatown that made their dumplings in house. It was fantastic! Exactly what we were after, to the extent I declared it was nice to have “real food” at the end of the meal. Very reminscient of beloved dumpling places in Ashfield, and sitting on metal stools around communal tables in Thailand. We had two plates of pork and bamboo shoot dumpings, steamed and fried, a small place of soy chicken, and a small plate of bok choy. With rice and bubble tea/iced pineapple drink. All for £30. Heaven!

It was a wonderfully warm evening, and the sun was still up So we then wandered around China town. I introduced Jed to durian, as the smell of it was deliciously wafting across the courtyard. We bought two fortune cookies for dessert. Mine read “your dreams will soon come true”, I’m hoping it refers to a meaningful job. We ran around inside a Korean sweet shop, and came home with random boxes of chocolate biscuit-y things, and some black sesame glutinous rice balls. Nom!

Friday was games night with friends. Introduced them to Settlers of Catan which we recently acquired. Jed bases his strategy on observations of Mat(my former flatmate)’s tactics and we’ve decided that the development card deck is now called the “Mat wins” deck. It amuses us. Unfortunately the robber piece has also been renamed “the gimp”, which seems to amuse everyone except me.

Saturday I went to a friend’s birthday party in nearby Wallington, in which I got off the bus waaaay too early and had a nice walk from one town (Purley) to the next past gardens and fields. This map should give you an idea. I got off the bus halfway up Foxley Lane/A2022. I walked to Wallington, the next town NW of there) Only two blisters to show for it. On the other hand, my friend, the lovely Dee, lives so close that we can plan regular tea or beer catch ups, I just have to get off the train 3 stops earlier. This is really cool, as it was the one thing that was really missing. Regular chats with someone who’s not Jed.

Sunday we went Blackberrying up on the Common, picking a small ice cream container’s worth to make into a dessert later this week. It was warm and sunny, perfect for picking blackberries which were warm and juicy, although probably at their best in another week or two. Also perfect for getting the requisite blackberry scratches and unobservantly standing right next to a tall stinging nettle plant and getting stung on the back of an elbow. Which I did. All of which brought back many childhood memories. Including that nettles stings are nowhere near as bad as bull ant bites, or as icky as leeches, so I could just deal with it (all three of which occurred to me on one regular family camping trip up the back of the Hawkesbury).

A really nice weekend all up.

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