London Firsts

Over the past day I’ve stayed in my first Airbnb, ridden in my first (and second!) Uber and visited Alexandra Palace for the first time. It was also my first time in Highgate and, I realised, the first time I’d ridden the Tube alone (all the other times I’ve been to London I’ve travelled there and on the Tube with at least one friend). Amazingly I managed to get the right branch of the Northern line, unlike two friends of friends who actually live in London. Not bad for a bumpkin.

The HAIM gig was really good. Ally Pally was an impressive venue, with amazing views across London whilst we were queuing to get in. It rapidly became apparent, though, that the queuing habit the British are famed for was not one shared by the attendees. In London, it seems like it’s cool to just walk past other people in a queue who were there before you. I didn’t want to get into Queue Rage so contented myself with some glares at the offenders’ backs.

Once inside, my friend and I admired the architecture and the quirky atmosphere of the building. The first hall was full of hipster food stands and the main hall was big enough to have a bit of room around you towards the back. This was the case until about halfway through the gig. Then, doors to the side of us opened and security staff flooded out. They kept coming and coming, which was somewhat alarming. They formed a chain and moved us slightly forward. Then another chain moved the people behind us slightly back. They didn’t let anyone through, which was rather inconvenient as they blocked the way to the bar and the toilets on our side of the hall. If anyone asked them what was going on, they stared into space and didn’t answer. It was very unnerving.

As people kept coming (understandably) to try to get to the bar and/or toilets, our previously roomy area became pretty crowded. This was the case for about five songs. There was jostling. Some people got pissed off.

I suspected that the band would come out of the side door, but every time they started a new song it felt less likely that this would be the case. Eventually, though, I was right. HAIM did come out of the door, through the human-walled corridor and I managed to get a high five from each member as they walked past to a B stage, where they did ONE song. All that security staff weirdness that lasted for five songs was for one song on a mini-stage. Still, I got three high fives, so that did something to mitigate my annoyance at the way the staff handled it. They subsequently plummeted even further down in my estimation through the way they handled the end of the concert. Some potential exits weren’t allowed to be used; we were funnelled into a mass to use a certain exit, with barriers hemming us in at the side, until these were opened when we neared the doors and we were allowed to use the other exits anyway.

These gripes aside, it was a really fun evening. The band was entertaining and performed really well, and the weird stuff gave us something to laugh about. Once more, live music has given me good times with a good friend.

I’m now back at home, having had lunch in a really nice cafe and endured a longer than usual train journey home due to work in the Severn Tunnel. There’s still a day before it’s back to work, and tomorrow it will be really nice to celebrate Father’s Day with the family. I’m feeling pretty good.

Something to Tell You

I’m on my way to London, typing this in my phone as I sit on the train. I’m meeting a friend up there, staying in an Airbnb which feels very modern, and going to see Haim’s Sister Sister Sister tour at Alexandra Palace. I’m looking forward to singing along, having a dance and generally enjoying the atmosphere that comes with live music.

I’ve booked tickets to see The Bluetones whilst on this journey too, who I only saw a few weeks ago in Bristol. This time they will be slightly closer to home but on a weeknight, which isn’t ideal. Still, they are brilliant live so it will be worth being a little fatigued the next day.

When I arrive in the capital I need to take the Tube to get to the Airbnb, then later on we are going to get an Uber over to Ally Pally. This will be another modern first for me and feels very “London”.

I’ll be travelling back home tomorrow evening in time for Father’s Day, when I’ll be feeding Dad curry and giving him a gift that he should hopefully like. It’s nice that, even with an overnight stay in London, I’ll still have a full day at home before it’s back to work time on Monday.

The gaps in my blogging have stretched. I’m disappointed that I’ve let the daily habit slip; I question whether I haven’t been taking great care of myself because I’m not blogging or if it’s the other way around. Fatigue has been an issue this week: last night I went for a nap and I ended up getting up again this morning. I doubt London will be very restful, but there’s always the train to nap on during the journey home. I’d like the maintain daily blogging over this weekend, at least.

No doubt, I’ll spend it humming the title track from Haim’s latest album…

Ending the Week

Cuddling a 3 month old baby must be pretty high up on the Best Self Care Things Ever list. That’s what I’ve done a lot this evening over at my my best friend’s place. We spent a lovely evening relaxing, eating and chatting. The baby is delightful, even when grizzling, and it’s a real privilege to be part of his life. It was a fab way to start the weekend.

Tomorrow’s lie in is another much anticipated piece of self care. The alarm was rather painful today and it will be nice to sleep later. I’ve got some errands and chores to do though, so I don’t want to waste away the morning.

I’m off to a work night out tomorrow, which is something to look forward to. It’s one of those events that seemed very far in the future when it was booked. I’ve got a busy few weeks, really, with a trip to London next weekend and other nights out organised, too.

I still feel like I’m neglecting my self care. I’ve fallen out of the good habits I was starting to build up and I really want to get back into them. I’m going to go for a walk tomorrow and hope that I keep that up on Sunday as well. I can’t remember when I last broke through 10,000 steps so it’s about time I was more proactive about being active!

Positive Starts

I had a good day in work today. There was a positive feeling about the place which made it a much easier Monday than usual. I cleared out some more Stuff, tidied and put away some more and did some planning for the week ahead. I feel like it could be a good week.

Tomorrow is a long day, with uni at the end of it. I’m enjoying my studies, though, and they’re very relevant to my work which makes them meaningful and relevant rather than just learning for its own sake (although there’s enjoyment to be found in that, too).

My brother still isn’t well. He’s been back to hospital today and it seems like they’ve cancelled their diagnosis of cellulitis. In any case, antibiotics aren’t having any effect so it’s more blood tests for him tomorrow, along with a balance of rest, light exercise and fluids to help with the swelling. He’s had scans and X-rays, so it doesn’t seem to be anything too sinister. It is still a worry, though. The good news is that he can get back on the beer now that they’ve taken him off antibiotics, so that should cheer him up a little.

A good night’s rest will help tomorrow go more smoothly, but I’m struggling to sleep well in the heat. I’ve resorted to using a fan and the white noise is in turns irritating and comforting. It’s preferable to the lack of air there seems to be without it, though.

Weekend Warmth

It’s really hot today (by my standards at least – I am very much built for a British climate). I’m not sure if it’s because of the heat, but I am really lethargic and not at all productive. I have lots of things I could and should be doing yet keep defaulting to lazing on the sofa.

I have been and visited my folks today. My brother’s legs, his left in particular, still look really painful. He certainly seems to need more treatment and his antibiotics run out tomorrow. Back to the GP for him, if our Mum manages to get through to the triage service in time (it doesn’t seem to be an entirely effective way of getting an appointment).

It’s work tomorrow and a day of meetings and admin. It will be good to continue with sorting out my work Stuff and to get my head around what’s coming up in the next few weeks.

I’ve been for a short walk today, which I hope will make me feel a bit more awake this evening. It would be good to get a bit more done before the weekend is over.

Levelling Out

In work today I filled about 4 recycling bags. I emptied box files. I threw things away. It looked like I had done very little in the grand scheme of things, sadly. It feels like I’m plateauing somewhat in terms of the impact I’m having on my Stuff. It would be more motivating if I could see more of a difference, but I guess I have to run before I can walk/Rome wasn’t built in a day and so forth.

At home I have cooked up a storm, making batches for freezing (although I’m going to have to shoehorn the containers into the freezer). In terms of self-care, I’ve gone mad with the veg, adding extra to my sauces in an effort to be a bit healthier.

I’m meeting friends tomorrow for lunch, some of whom I haven’t seen for a while, so I’m really looking forward to it. My plan is to do some more Stuff decluttering beforehand so that I have a nice balance of productivity and relaxation.

Little Chips

No, not small portions of fries! I’ve made little chips rather than a big dent into the Stuff today by doing some recycling. As I was meeting a friend for lunch, there wasn’t a lot of time to get other Stuff sorted, plus I’ve run a few errands. So, today’s been enjoyable and productive, just not so much on the Stuff front.

Tomorrow is my big Work Stuff day. Rather than flitting from job to job, I’m going to tackling things section by section so that I can properly see the benefit of my clearing and sorting, which will (hopefully!) motivate me to keep going. I’m aiming to fill at least four recycling bags as I clear the decks.

I’ve also booked train tickets for a couple of trips away, so they feel more ‘real’ now. One is in a couple of weeks when I’m off to London (where I’ll be headed again later in the summer – I haven’t been for a good few years and I’ll have been 3 times in 2018 by the end of July).

Writing this post has made me realise that I’ve done more than I realised today. One habit I seem to have slipped out of, however, is walking. I’ll be checking the weather to see where I can spot on a stroll tomorrow.