Tag Archives: summer

Missing swimming

Today I went to the pools, like I usually do. The lane availability on the website said the outdoor pool would have six lanes available, and I’m usually okay with sharing with someone else if necessary. I know there is usually squad swimming in the evenings, as well as an aquaerobics class on occasion.

But this evening I got to the outdoor pool and there was a cavalcade of people. Squad had their usual four lanes, but in the remaining ones there was a triathlon club as well as the members of the public and the group of 15 or so people waiting to do the aqua class. The triathlon club had around six or seven swimmers in each lane, the water was in constant motion and there seemed to be a nonstop barrage of noise.

I freaked out a little bit. I sat to the side of the pool waiting for 7pm, thinking that perhaps the other swimmers would be done then and the pool would settle down. It did not. If anything, it got louder and more crowded as the stereo blared for the start of the aqua class. The lifeguards took down the signs for two of the general swimming lanes to add more reserved signs, as well as closing another two for the aqua class.  There were people finishing up their swims, which I was almost hopeful at, but for each triathlete that emerged from the water another two clustered around those reserved signs seemingly waiting their turn.

I panicked.

I did something I have never done before but that felt like the only option left for me. I left the pool, walked back out to my car and drove back home. On my way I did check the smaller, 25m indoor pool to see how crowded that was. But at that moment in time I think the entire pool could have been empty and I still would have walked away. I go swimming for the fitness aspect, yes, but for me it means so much more to my overall mental health and state of mind. When I am swimming the outside world becomes a blur and I am able to slow down my overthinking brain and just breathe. Literally. I hadn’t swam for over a week because of having been a bit sunburned the last time I went, and mentally I knew that I was overdue; brain all jumbled up, becoming very reactionary and impulsive and just on edge.  Seeing the place that is supposed to be my oasis in such turmoil and with so many people put me into almost a blind panic as I walked back to my car.

Yesterday was an overload for me too so I had been looking forward to a swim to put me in a better frame of mind. I went to my first music festival with a friend. I was very apprehensive in the days (hours and minutes really) leading up to it, not at all keen on spending ten hours on a 30 degree day being jostled around by tens of thousands of strangers while straining to see and listen to musicians that I barely knew. But I went, because my friend really wanted to go and I know that sometimes I say no to things before trying them because I am nervous about new experiences, which this definitely was. The day started out fine, the smaller stage was actually really fun and the crowds were far less for the first few hours. Then we went to the main arena.

At first we stayed in the stands (the stone steps at Fremantle Oval) which were weirdly comforting to me because of all the time I have spent there watching the footy. It was an ideal perch to watch both main stages from, and watch the masses of people congregating and bouncing around without having to directly be a part of it. Even watching the bands from the steps was getting a bit much for me though. The bass of the bands and artists was just going right through me and made me feel like my heart was about to burst out of me. I have never (probably never again) been more grateful to Liam Gallagher and the complete lack of bass and treble and all that modern music junk. But then Liam was winding up and the next act was the band my friend had wanted to come to the festival for, and she wanted to go further in to be where all the other people were so she could dance to this band. Perfectly reasonable, right? The further and further in we walked (or really crushed) into the crowd, the more and more I knew that this was the last place in the world I wanted to be in that exact moment. I in fact sent that as an exact message to a couple of friends. It definitely didn’t help that we had been in the sun all day, I had been drinking without eating any food and it was around hour seven of the day. But I was completely miserable while trying not to look so for the sake of my friend. Even when Liam Gallagher finished off his set with Wonderwall and the entirety of the festival sang along in what I’m sure was supposed to be a special moment, all I could manage was token singing along while my eyes darted around and my heart raced.

My friend’s band started and there was a surge of people going the ten metres from one stage to the next, it felt like I had somehow landed on the freeway and there were cars speeding past me while I tried to cross the road in slow motion. There was no way I was about to ruin my friend’s evening with my neuroses though, so I did bob along to the music while wincing and flinching at each shove and bump I felt. As the band played their more well known songs, my friend wanted us to go further in to the actual stage part. I went along with it, because again I wasn’t about to spoil her day, but by then I felt like I was just in a blind panic. I wanted to get out, I was counting down the minutes until the band’s set was up so I could start to hope that it was time to go home. The second my friend said we should go back out (because the band were on their last song) I practically ran back to those stone steps. My friend was going to stay until the end with her cousin, because they had to go home together, so she said I could feel free to leave whenever I wanted. I lasted maybe five minutes before practically skipping to the exit.

I know that realistically I could have leave whenever I wanted to, and my friend certainly isn’t the type to have made me stay or made me feel guilty about leaving. But I’m such a massive people pleaser that I wouldn’t dream of getting in the way of something that one of my friends really wanted to do. She was back in town for the holidays from Melbourne and early on when I asked her what she wanted to do while she was here she said she wanted to go to this festival to see this band, so of course I bought a ticket with her. I figured that I hadn’t been to a festival before so why not, and I’m sure it won’t be as bad as most festivals have appeared to be. And pragmatically it wasn’t a terrible day, I did really enjoy the Valley stage and a few of the bands there.

But then this evening at the pool. I had spent all day at home alone with the intentions of recovery only to emerge to another populous display of humanity. It was too much. I left the pool after sending a snapchat to a friend, and got home ten minutes late. I then came out of the car a whole half an hour later.

Sitting in the car I felt so overwhelmed. Not crying (for once in my life, I know nobody will believe this but it’s true) but just with a rush of something just on edge. My cat was meowing as he always does when I get home. I tried to calm myself down.

I closed my eyes for a moment remembered that I was in a closed garage in a car so wondered about carbon monoxide and then thought about that scene in Sabrina where she starts all the cars in the garage and closes the door because she is so miserable but then remembered that the car was not running so figured that would be okay but then checked my phone and wondered why my friend hadn’t replied to me it had been about twenty minutes by now so I checked snapchat to see and then I looked at another unrelated story about people being so extra and wondered am I being extra with my freaking out about people but then figured that no it was really a lot of people yesterday and today and then my ears started ringing really loudly and it sounded just like the bass and noise yesterday so I worried a lot about that and realised that my ears hadn’t been ringing all day only in that moment so I was really panicking and so I closed my eyes again to try to calm myself down and I must have fallen asleep.

I opened my eyes a good forty minutes after I parked in the garage. Very heavy lidded, like I could have slept in the car for another few hours. I wanted to swim today. I needed to swim today. It’s been an hour and 1700 words since I got out of the car and I have been writing nonstop since then. I do feel calmer having gotten this all out of my head. But I still need to swim.

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Taking Stock: Spring edition #1

After a tumultuous few weeks (really months) I am starting to feel like I can rejoin the land of the living. Work has settled down (though my pile of marking is ever-growing),I’m feeling sliiiightly better about personal life stuff and I’m deciding to focus on the stuff I have in my life that is pretty great. I’m lucky to have a job that I love, a nephew who adores me, friends who will help me if I ask and about 300 books, not counting ebooks, in which to escape when times get tough.

Cooking: Banana bread this weekend. I bought a huge bunch of bananas last week that I felt a bit bad about so I found an easy recipe for banana bread on Tastemade (my new obsession) and it’s delish!

Drinking: I’ve been enjoying a Brown Brothers moscato thing that I love, but that apparently tastes like Passion Pop? Never tasted it myself (surprisingly).

Reading: Torn between what to start next – Gone With The Wind, Anna Karenina or The Odyssey. Yikes but I want to push myself. Continue reading Taking Stock: Spring edition #1

Hell is teaching in a heatwave with no power..

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The power went out at school yesterday, leaving more than 1000 teachers and students suffering in a 40+ degree day with no air-conditioning.. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of being around young adults during hot weather, but there are two things main things to know:

  1. They do absolutely no work whatsoever
  2. They smell. 

Continue reading Hell is teaching in a heatwave with no power..

Life Update Time! (Taking Stock Jan 2016)

Life update time! I head back to work next week which I find myself kind of dreading. But I have had a great summer (non-relationship-wise) and I’m ready to take on some new challenges.

 

Cooking: A lot lately as I (again) attempt to change my eating habits. I find that I struggle to enjoy cooking for myself, but I adore cooking for other people! Below are the last two breakfasts I made for my housemate, very proud of them if I do say so myself!

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Drinking: Water from an old Mount Franklin bottle. Is that whole “don’t reuse bottle water bottles” thing still a thing??

Reading: Wonder Woman: The Twelve Labours. Side note: How bad ass does Gal Godot look in the Batman vs Superman trailer?!

Wanting: so many, many things. Let’s go with motivation for now..

Looking: at the old Casablanca poster above my desk, finally hung up!

Playing: that Covet fashion game (I’m pretending it’s helping me be more fashionable!), Pandemic and Ticket To Ride . I am OBSESSED with Tabletop at the moment!

Deciding: if I want to go run myself a cold bath. It is SO HOT that sometimes I do that first thing in the morning, just sit in the bath to cool down. The cat has started sleeping in the bathroom (apparently over his previous bath trauma) which goes to show, evaporative airconditioning= NOPE!

Wishing: that my housemate was not moving out in two months, or that he asks me to move in with him (HA!) or that he just gives me a really nice birthday before he moves.

Enjoying: that the cat and I have gotten into a perfect routine this holidays. And that I know all his facial expressions and postures, and he does what I want (finally!) at one word, AND that there has been no inside pooing. Victory!

Waiting : for my younger housemate to come home, so I can tease him about his lady dramas.

Liking: the new organisation of my desk. I cleaned it up nicely yesterday to give me a good workspace. Naturally the rest of my room remains less organised!

Wondering: if I can pull myself together enough to clean up the rest of my room. I-think-i-can i-think-i-can i-think-i-can….

Loving: My boo.

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Pondering: waking up early tomorrow to try get into my school routine. ORRR do I sleep in as it is one of my last holiday days?

Watching: The Office (US) S05 E09 The Surplus. About to head into an Agents of SHIELD catch up too.

Hoping: a fairy comes and waves their wand over me and makes me look like I did four years ago. #fatty #badday

Marvelling: at other people’s abilities to be hella into their fitness and health. Very, very envious.

Needing: To find some motivation.

Smelling: the bowl of frangipanis on my desk from my trees in the backyard. Another reason I wanna stay in this house!!

Wearing: pink singlet, green undies, black shorts. And I’m only wearing the shorts because my housemate is due home soon!

Following: Ashy Bines on Instagram and Snapchat. She’s annoyingly perfect looking, and yet so accessible and down to earth about herself and her ups and down.

Knowing: I need to do some more planning and reading for school. My first year teaching HASS (Humanities and Social Studies) so I’ve got a lot to catch up on!

Thinking:  that I want to go on a cruise this year. My Hawaiian trip was cancelled as my aunty changed the cruise we were all going on from one in the school holidays to one during the term! Sad that I can’t go with my family, but the cruise they are now going on is far better value. BUT I do still want to go on a holiday this year sometime.

Feeling: like the weather has cooled down a bit and the air con is actually working properly!

Admiring: friends that are changing their lives and making better choices than me.

Sorting: out my possessions into keep, give away, throw away piles. Biting the bullet, organising, cleaning, the whole thing.

Buying: Too many books that I do not have time to read. It’s a sickness!!

Bookmarking: ideas and things I want to buy for school. I do love me some stationary and resources!

Disliking: that I still get itchy eyes and hayfever from the cat (and all the cat hair and dust in my room!).

Opening: my iTunes to find that all my music has disappeared. Joy.

Giggling: at a photo frame I found this morning with an odd brand name (inside joke hehehe)

Snacking: On nothing at the moment!! Trying to kick the habit and eat regularly enough that snacking doesn’t happen.

Coveting: a house. a car, a boy, a holiday, a size 10 body.

Wishing: to have the resolve and commitment to stick to my plans to change habits, even when I am feeling conflicted and down.

Helping: myself by deciding not to go to the shops to buy dinner and snacks.

Hearing: my text tone go off as my housemate asks me to let him in. The silly boy left his keys at work, so all weekend he has been pestering me to see when I am at home.

Hope you have all had a great start to the new year! Any motivation suggestion slay it on me, I suck balls at motivating myself!

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Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve thought a lot about how I want to start my year, with goals or resolutions or promises to people. Recently there has been some.. turmoil (for lack of a better term) in my personal life that has led to me (once again) trying to rethink the way I live my life, what makes me happy and how I can get back to those happy places again.

I have decided to take things one day at a time. Set small goals that can be achieved, and slowly work towards the bigger things. Make time for the things that make me happy and feel less guilty for choosing to do those things instead of over-committing myself to other pursuits.

If I had to name any overarching themes of my 2016, I would like them to be health, writing, reading, career. I hope that I can stick to what I am trying to do, and that I can keep myself to deadlines. They were the one part of journalism that I was able to do exceptionally after all!

Hope you all had a great new year’s celebration.

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Best pre-Christmas Present Ever!

Browsing on Twitter today (after an exhausting last week of school) has led me to what I believe is one of the best presents I will receive this year: an excerpt to my unashamedly most anticipated book of 2015!!

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A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in my opinion. The Princess Diaries is one of my top ten book series, and when I first found out there would be not one but two new book set in that world, I could hardly contain myself. Mia Thermopolis is a grown up Tina Belcher in my opinion, and both are my life idols.

Hope you get something good for Christmas before Christmas!

Love,
Andrea

 

Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

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It is killing me to no end that while today is the third day of winter here in little old Perth, almost everything else I read is gearing up for summer! Fortunately that also allows me to vicariously live through what I read and imagine that it is in fact summer and I am sitting on a beach instead of huddled up underneath my doona getting warmth from my laptop.

I am a sucker for any kind of summer article, book, movie, music anything. it just makes me feel so happy and warm. Most importantly it helps me to forget my mounting troubles and (as corny as this may be) radiate some sort of inner warmth. So without further ado, and brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish,  here are my top ten books that will be in my beach bag this summer, and that I always end up reading during my December to February summer.

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
  2. Summer Crossing – Truman Capote
  3. South Beach (and the rest of the Spring Break series: French Kiss and Hollywood Hills) – Aimee Friedman
  4. Boy Meets Girl – Meg Cabot
  5. Surf School and Surf Sisters – Laurine Croasdale
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
  7. Silver Shadows – Richelle Mead (what I will be reading when you guys are all having summer)
  8.  Top Secret Twenty-One – Janet Evanovich (ditto)
  9. Unlucky 13 – James Patterson (ditto)
  10. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green (ditto, plus I figure I may as well read it now)

Hope you guys are staying warm (if like me you are beginning the descent into winter) or pumping up the summer jams!

Love,
Andrea

Top Ten Book Covers I’d Frame As Pieces of Art

I have to give some credit to Flavorwire for giving me some inspiration for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday.

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I am a mega book nerd, so much so that if I have one edition of a book, but I see a stunningly gorgeous edition of the same book at a store, I will probably buy it and have two copies (case in point: I own almost all of Agatha Christie’s novels, most of them duplicates because while I own many in the more artistic and photographic Fontana editions,23876

I want to own them all in this more stylistically simple Fontana edition:)

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Nitpicky I know, but I really do appreciate the beauty of a book cover. They have a clichéd ability to change someone’s perception of a story before they have even read it. I can’t count the amount of times I have been in the mood to read something slightly trashy and easy and gone for the girliest covered book I could find. Here however are ten books that I treasure, or at the very least treasure their covers as incredible works of art.

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Bantam Classics)
  2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
  3. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. And again
  5. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
  6. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  7. The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
  8. Someday, Someday, Maybe – Lauren Graham (without the text)
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia (complete set) – C. S. Lewis
  10. Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie

Hope you have some bookish art of your own!

Love,
Andrea