Post-holiday fog

It’s been two days since my visit to Broughty Ferry (near Dundee, Scotland) and I’m still feeling mentally foggy. I don’t usually travel during term time, the perk of teaching at a university and all, but I wanted to catch up with my amazing friend. We don’t see each other often, maybe every two years, but this time there’s a lot going on so it was a much needed catch up.

The time away felt properly away. Usually I feel like there’s an axe over my head, hovering just enough to remind me that work is waiting. Nope. Not this time. My attitude to work has changed this past year and during my visit I didn’t feel the need to think about work, let alone do anything ‘just in case’ (hell no to checking email inbox). It was such a great feeling to be free. Well, free isn’t quite the word. I suppose more relieved, like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could actually be properly present with my friend.

That might explain why I feel so foggy today. It’s like I’ve been shoved back into a crowded Tube tunnel and I’ve got to make my way through the throng to get somewhere. Find my bearings. It’s noisy and dirty and I don’t have a lot of space to breath. Yet, this state feels familiar and disorientating at the same time. I suppose work is like that at the moment. I feel my mental state is on autopilot, set to cope with the work pressures. It’s jarring to be away in a state of calm, only to be thrown back into this level of stress. I suppose the mental fog is a good indicator that working this way isn’t normal.

Monday double takes

It’s the sort of a funny start of the week where the unexpectedness of the day put me into a ‘just go with the flow’ kind of mood. Usually I plan my week with detailed to-do lists and goals that need to be met by a specific hour of a specific day. Yet despite writing these plans all out, it wasn’t a typical kind of Monday. And I was totally fine with it.

The photo is a good summary of the kind of day I had. On my commute to work I was looking into my camera because I had something in my eye (I don’t own a mirror – tend to borrow them when needed) and lo and behold I noticed the bone graphic behind me. It turns out it was a skeleton bone but, well, you get the picture.

Total double take.

Get to work and do the email double take (e.g. ‘did I just read, yes, yes I did’). Then went to a marking meeting what was all about double takes (e.g. our marks don’t quite agree but they’re in the ball park, sort of. More or less. Sure). Then afternoon slump – need – sugar – hit- now moment as I walk past the entrance of my favourite cafe, then turn around and walk back in to order a double chocolate brownie and large latte.

Lots of going-with-the-flow kind of moments.

Also went to the pub after work this evening. Rarely head to the pub nowadays, let alone a Monday night, but was returning home after an evening seminar and couldn’t be bothered to cook. So, to the pub we go…only to find out (after we had ordered a round) that it doesn’t serve food on Mondays. This is more of a face palm than a double take but it was that kind of Monday. So pizza delivery it is. No double takes here, just double portions. Going with the (hunger) flow. All in all, an unexpected positive start to the week.

Sunday Service: More crafts

From knitting to sewing. Yep, it’s like that in my world. Spent this Sunday afternoon testing out this new pattern for a drawstring bag. Well, making a drawstring bag is new to me, and I wanted to do a ‘test run’ on some cheap fabric scraps I had lying around instead of botching up the pattern with good fabric.

Yep, learned(-ing) the hard way to understand patterns. Made some fab jogging trousers and pyjama bottoms for myself. Tried adapting the same pattern for my partner and…well, considering he’s about nearly a foot taller than me you can imagine how badly that project went. Those of you who’ve sewn with jersey fabric know the hell I’m talking about.

Anyhow, yesterday I had a look at my knitting pile and thought I needed somewhere to store all this stuff. That led to heading out for my first ever visit to this shop called ‘Hobbycraft’. A kind of superstore for crafts. Usually I buy my supplies online but today was a day to try out a few new things.

Yet again I found myself with the urge to finish this bag in one day. I didn’t find this project as relaxing as knitting, mostly because I was set on finishing the bag in one afternoon because, in my head, if I can finish it, I can understand the pattern. In some ways this is true. Just instead of using a regular sewing machine, like normal people, I decided to start with my overlocker (‘serger’ to North Americans) then switch to my sewing machine in the end. Maybe I should just start with following the pattern properly before making adaptations to the process.

I just really, really love my overlocker! The end result were still pretty good, and more importantly it fits one of my knitting projects!