January and February, why are you so sluggish?

Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

You don’t hear so much about the February blahs in London. But in Toronto they were a big thing. And, yes, I know it’s not actually February yet but January seems to have the same feeling.

Grey January skies
Grey January skies and the tree is looking different than other years

Days and days of dull, leaden skies. I miss the blue skies and snowy days in Toronto sometimes. I don’t miss the cold or slush. And I definitely don’t miss the freezing rain and ice. But I do have days where I feel very sure I suffer from SAD and so I light daytime candles and have yellow or white roses to lighten my mood. Sadly, I also eat chocolate – my jeans are telling me maybe a little too much.

Actually, I also feel sad. And there it is.

There are no explorations to talk about today but perhaps the photos will show a bit of my regular life.

Spring is coming and the foxes came back
Spring is coming and the foxes came back

In February I am going to a wedding in Leicester. It’s something to look forward to. In April my sister Ruth, nieces Suzanne and Adrianna, and great whatevers Seamus and Fiona are coming to London. Am I looking forward to it? Hmm. Yes and no. It’s always nice to see familiar Toronto faces in London and I enjoy planning things and working on maps and itineraries, whether or not they are used, but family things can be chaotic. So it’s a mixed bag and I hope mostly positive.

Adrianna is also going to Budapest so there’s an added level of planning and writing up ‘sort-of-guides’ for her. It also made me think about Budapest and the things I miss about it. Most cities have things I miss but not enough to  go racing back. In the case of Budapest, there are just too many other things I need to do or be available for this year to follow my impulses to book myself a ticket.This week I’m booked for a few things. I’m meeting Shahanaz, my friend from volunteering, on Wednesday – coffee or lunch, we aren’t sure yet. Thursday evening there’s an exhibit I’d like to attend and only my fear of going out alone at night prevents me from committing. 

Meanwhile my aunt Kay is newly home from hospital after a minor stroke. At 98 this is a bigger yet smaller deal than it sounds. I’d like to be free from worry about it. After all, it’s her choice. Guilt sits on my shoulders where it has no right to be.  Meanwhile, I must push myself to touch in about how she’s doing and consider when I can go see her. If she were closer, I’d be over there at least once a week but the journey makes me hesitate.

On Ridley Road
Tiny figures on Ridley Road

I ordered two pairs of shoes – the same but different sizes. I need to wear them around the flat to see which pair is more comfortable and if the shoes are comfortable at all. (They’re for the two 2019 weddings.) I ordered two pairs of boots, each different. I don’t like either.

I got a new laptop and I don’t like it. I don’t like it slightly more than I like the idea of taking everthing off it and sending it back. However, I think this will be the case. I’ll aim for Wednesday to get this done.

The January-February blahs also make me cranky. Did you notice? Everything  – well, lots of things – irritate and frustrate me. I watch myself being grumpy and short-tempered and worried about the fact I’m worrying. Yes, that.

Tasted pretty good but funny what Fingers Crossed Cafe calls Spaghetti Genovese
Tasted pretty good but funny what Fingers Crossed Cafe calls Spaghetti Genovese

Things that are making me cranky include my foray into event organising for the neighbourhood. I had the idea to get neighbours together at the local pub and posted about this. Once I could see that the idea was popular (far more than expected, to be honest) I opened a second post asking people to simply Like the post if they were coming since that was the best way for me to see how many to expect. I requested no comments. You guessed it. Some did Like the post but most others commented, ‘Yes, I’ll come.’ ‘No, not this time but next.’ And the most annoying, ‘I’ll try to come, I really like the idea, but I’ll see.’ And people kept answering on the first post too until I closed it, and Private Messaging me to ask questions and say all of the above. In other words, messy, chaotic and hella confusing, as the kids say.

I decided to ‘hire’ a helper who then confused and frustrated  me even more with his suggestions of spreadsheets and meetings between the two of us to create such spreadsheets. And the kicker, the realisation that I am yet to meet an older person who isn’t annoyingly staid and smoky-voiced, and hopelessly mired in things that I can’t embrace in my own life – mainstream, middle of the road tasks and interests. And I noted his inability to accept new things or try to understand them – oh, these newfangled things that I don’t understand so will instead avoid and heap scorn on them.  I saw a man in the bus last week – older for sure but his white hair was styled so that I knew he had at least a somewhat independent/ alternative thought pattern or lifestyle. I wondered if there was such a person out there like that for me. The meeting is next Wednesday and I hope to have it sorted out by then.

Obviously, I need to do something cheerful and sunny and outgoing and not chocolatey or … poutine. I see the poutine truck is back after the Christmas break and am saved only by the fact that Fridays I will now be taking pottery wheel classes! Clumsy, uncoordinated moi – am curious how well I will do. Mostly, it’s about learning a new skill, hoping it’s relaxing or meditative, and meeting new people – outside this flat!

We went to Shikumen for the first 2019 visit. First we went into Ambala and got the usual order, then we went to the Cash & Carry and got the usual items, then we strolled over to Shikumen and ordered the usual food. See a pattern here? What will be new and exciting, or at least interesting, in 2019?

Stay tuned.

At night the street art looks richer
At night the street art looks richer
In the Cash n Carry
In the Cash & Carry
The usual Shikumen order
The usual Shikumen order