November is traditionally The Month That I Can’t Cope With The World, if you can call something a tradition after just two occurrences.
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but I was miserable and confused this time last year and plagued by a crushing inability to write. I thought I would find the transition to the 4PM Darkness easier to cope with this time around but I’m just as bewildered. And tired. I feel like a little old granny that needs to retire with a cup of cocoa as soon as Eastenders is over. All I need is a cardigan and a small, yapping terrier to kick around.
It now seems a lifetime ago when I woke up in Spain and looked out the window of the World’s Shittiest Hostel and screamed "MY EYES! MY EYES!". What was this blinding light assaulting my irises? What was this strange warmth I felt on my skin?
So, how to get the body to cope with the lack of light? I keep meaning to step out for a lunchtime walk to but the times I’ve actually remembered this plan I looked out the window and it was raining. My other tactic has been to Exercise Like A Motherfucker in the hope of producing some happy chemicals in the brain. I’ve been managing a good three gym sessions as week (around 1.5 – 2 hours each) consisting of a Body Pump or Body Jam class as well as some running and/or some elliptical trainer and rowing machine. I’ve been so haphazard with my exercise this year, but now I’m in a routine I’m finally starting to see some results.
This has not, however, turned me into a beacon of sparkly happiness. Mostly due to me being a lazy whining bastard. Yesterday at 5pm I stood in the darkness outside the gym, bitching down the phone to my sister, "I don’t wanna go in. I wanna go home and sleep. Don’t make me go in there. I can’t do this today."
Her reply, "So don’t do it!"
"But I suppose I have to! I lugged my gym gear all the way to work and now I’m right outside the door. FINE, fine. I’m going in. GoodBYE!"
Even when I was standing on the treadmill, headphones in place, doing a warm up walk, I was still moaning to myself, "I can’t do this today, I just can’t." Fifteen minutes in I was whinging in my head, "This sucks ass. Why can’t I just eat chocolate?".
And then I was cranky all through the Body Jam class afterwards because I had my running shoes on and they are so bloody sturdy and determined to hold my feet in a forward direction. Fantastic for running but utterly useless for dancing. And just the week before I’d worn my cross trainers and had a Cranky Attack on the treadmill because of course the cross trainers give no support for running at all and I ended up having to walk coz it felt I’d do damage. I realised last night that I will just have to take both pairs of shoes. JUST GREAT!
Tangent: WHERE THE HELL can you buy cross training shoes in this bloody country? Every sporty shop here either has running shoes or stupid colourful trainers that are meant to show the world what a hipster you are, ie. not intended for sporting use at all.
I asked one pimpled teen at Foot Locker, "Do you have any cross trainers? What happens if I want to play tennis or do an aerobics class?".
"Oh we don’t really stock any of those. But look at these running shoes!"
"Are they suitable for anything other than running in a straight line?"
I bought my cross trainers in September 2000, which happens to be the time I first went to a gym, and in the following four years as you know I have basically done more exercise than the preceeding 23 years combined. Thus, the shoes stink, are full of holes and have no tread left on them. I know for a fact that every bloody sporty shop in Australia has at least a dozen different cross trainers for me to choose from, even with my gigantor size 10 feet! Not so in the Motherland.
My sister, the lucky bastard, will be buying new cross trainers when she goes back to Australia in a couple of weeks. She has scored herself a job in London and consequently a work permit that will allow her to stay in the UK for years to come. Now please please please don’t email me to say "Why don’t you do that?" as I have a stack of rejection letters as testament to my attempts to do this. I will just say her industry (luxury hotels) is more open to taking on foreigners than in any field of mine. Work permits are all about proving to the UK government that they cannot find a native to fill the role, and my sisters new employers could not find a Brit as well-qualified and dazzling as herself.
Anyway, she starts in January and is off to Oz for a flying visit to see everyone since it could be a couple of years til she makes it back. And so, she will be able to get new shoes. And get them SO MUCH CHEAPER. I’d ask her to get some for me but it’s risky with my awkward, freakish hoofs.
One good thing is that she is cleaning out her wardrobe and has given me some suits that no longer fit her. Remember my Jacqui E suit from Oz that I finally fit into last year, size 18? Well now I can get into hers, exactly the same but SIZE 14 (US 12). Holy crap. I cannae do up the jacket yet, but give me time, mark my words.
I was close to tears as I zipped up those pants. Sure they were a bit too tight but crikey, I never ever thought in a million years that my flesh could be successfully arranged into a garment of such small size. The last time I had anything in a 14 was 1993. I thought it was a fluke coz the Jacqui E sizes aren’t particularly small, but sis gave me a skirt from Myer that also fits (just a bit too clingy on the arse). This certainly was a change from the week before when I almost kicked the mirror at H&M as I had to buy new trousers in a size 20. My sister assured me their sizes can be Euro tiny but still, ARRGH! I was raging and felt sure the United Kingdom was united purely to make me feel like a heiffer.
Well as you can see I am just full of rage in general today, aren’t I? I am just emotional as my sister will be in Glasgow two weeks from today, where she will fly to Dubai and then to Sydney in AUSTRALIA where it is WARM and mangoes are in season and all our friends and family will be there and they will have Christmas together while I am working at Geriatric Rescue on both Xmas and Boxing Day.
YES YES, I am still doing shifts at that evil place to pay off my stinking credit card. My sis and I had previously agreed I’d do Xmas and she’d do Boxing Day as it is triple time and we’d have our little Xmas dinner on the Monday instead. But then a few weeks later she got her new job out of the blue, and now this whirlwind trip to Australia. I tried to wriggle out of the Xmas shift, but ended up with another – my bosses begged me to do Boxing Day as no other staff can/will do it. HUMBUG!
So I will spend my Xmas Day feeling depressed as hell, as the only old people who call us needing help on Xmas Day are those old people with no family all alone in their cold houses and fall over and can’t get up or who have burned their Marks & Spencer Turkey Ready Meal For One and set their smoke alarms off.
But! Realistically, i’s not like I had anything better to do. And triple time, my friends. My credit card balance will be zero for the New Year. Woohoo!
Anyway, yes. I’m an emotional disaster. My sister and I are breaking up. We’ve been living together for four years. I know the time is right and we have to move on but it is scary. Everything is changing. Her future is sorted, now I have to figure out mine. And I can’t even bring it up with the Scottish Companion right now as his PhD exam thingy is coming up and is stressed out of his brain trying to revise his thesis and worrying about whether he will be upgraded to Doctor Scottish Companion or not. His boss has already printed business cards stating that he is. NO PRESSURE!
So of course I am trying to Be There, all supportive and patient, when all I want to do is scream at him most selfishly, "WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO!? I NEED ANSWERS!"
For once in my life, the only thing going well is the food and the exercise. How bizarre.
Thank you for letting me vent. You guys rule the school. I will be back as soon as sanity returns.