Being Sociable

Decided to screw the whole moping about at home about my work and go out last night for a bit. Wandered down to some pub called the exchange in exeter with Marc to meet Paul – there was going to be live funk/R&B music but that didn’t seem to happen so we sat about talking for ages instead. It’s a nice place actually – and generally they do have live music, so at some point I’m dragging the rest of the guys down there

There was quite a comedy moment when this little hatch openend up on the wall by out table, opposite my chair, to reveal two DJs (a short manic looking white one and a tall thin black guy) arguing over playing an particular track. I managed to grab the CD out of reach and had both the DJs either egging me on to actually snap it or to ‘please give it back’. In the end I returned it on the condition that they didn’t play the track.

Basically, I had a good time – I enjoy interesting pubs with live music more than clubs a lot of the time – if nothing else because they kick you out at a more reasonable time!

The scent of Cinnamon

I am very slowly, and calmly getting on with my essay. There’s such a huge amount of knowledge to tie down on paper that any other approach makes my mind panic and then give up. It’s almost like I have to creep up on the work slowly so my mind doesn’t realise it should be apathetic.

At the moment, my current interests are cinamon and raisin bagels for breakfast, and this little herb called Ginko . It’s supposed to increase circulation to extremities and your brain – worth a try for me since I get cold hands and could do with better brain power at the moment.

There’s this great herb/pagan shop down in exeter, full of incense and yukka plants. At the back are 10 shelves worth of large glass jars, each with a neat hand-penned label identifying the contents. Everything from ‘Cumin’ to ‘Dragon’s Blood’ and ‘False Unicorn’. This is where I’m buying my ginko leaves from, along with other stuff to put in the infuser to make the finished drink taste of something – basically I’m making my own herbal tea, and it’s great fun. (and brilliant for procrastination!)

Strange things are nice – a mixture of ginko, lavender flowers, lemon verbane(or something, and actual tea (need caffeine from somewhere!). At the moment, I’m brewing ginko, tea, cinnamon, cloves and aniseed to see what it tastes like. It certainly makes my room smell nice if nothing else!

As to whether the ginko is having an effect, it seems to be increasing the blood to the WRONG side of my brain. I keep getting very clear images to draw, or ideas, or just very good focus on stuff other than work. I’ve got a good bit on my essay done this morning though – I’m discovering a whole new way of working – being -calm- and not stressy. Sometimes, that’s the ONLY way to get it done it seems.

Other than that, the gym thing is STILL going, and I reckon I’m getting both significantly fitter and slimmer. Strangely, whilst I originally went to the gym to get -thin-, I’m actually finding the fitness thing to be the greater benefit. It’s nice to go up loads of stairs, or carry shopping up a hill without feeling tired!

I reckon that tea is done now…. *tries some* mmm… that’s actually damn good 🙂 (if you like cinnamon that is…)

Looking at the Stars

Some of us are dreamers, locked inside our heads
Some of us are victims lying in our beds
Some of us sheep get chosen, some lose their faith
Some get to walk, others told to stay

and some of us are lying here
some of us are lying here
some of us are looking at the stars
(we’re looking at the stars, oh we’re looking at the stars oh the stars)

Some of us are restless now we feel the ball and chain
Some of us have gambled we won’t roll the dice again
Some of us are just seasick sailors who swim against the tide
Some are just soldiers who want to run and hide

Some of us are lying here
Some of us are lying here
Some of us are looking at the stars
(we’re looking at the stars, oh we’re looking at the stars oh the stars)

Some of us smell burning now those flames are at our feet
Some of us hear voices, Angels singing sweet
Some get to face their demons, some push them away
Some open the door – and beg them to stay

And some of us are lying here
Some of us are lying here
Some of us are looking at the Stars…

(Vikki Clayton)

I wish you could hear what that song *sounds* like damnit! This is one of the songs I heard at the ‘Fairport Convention’ concert I went to last night with Rachel, Marc and Zak. They’re sort of an energetic (albeit getting on a bit now) british-folk-rock group – the kind that you really need to go and -see-. They all seem to play at least 5 different instruments, the drummer really -does- look like ‘Animal’ from Muppets, and they dance about on stage and make lots of jokes.. We had seats right at the front, so got not only a good view but a full blast of sound, which covered me in goosebumps several times (I love bass.. 🙂 )

I can’t say I’m a ‘folk music fan’ since that implies it’s my main musical interest – but like with every genre, occasional groups or people do inspire me. There were definite folk enthusiasts there though – mostly wearing gorgeous velvety dresses (the women at least). We also had this crazy old guy (with long white hair and one of those leather coats with lots of little strips coming of it) sitting at the front.. he got pretty lively near the end (incidently, you could take you drinks with you into the hall if they were in plastic cups) and started dancing around at the front and doing ‘peace’ signs at the band. It was really good fun 🙂

(ARGH! I’ve got to be in a lecture!!!!)

Just to finish: occasionally it really inspires me to see a REAL band made of REAL people (ie not just ‘pretty faces’) singing/playing on a REAL stage. I should go and see live music more often!!

Gentle Upward Spiral

Over the last few days, my mood has been slowly getting better, calmer, and happy. Almost certainly a hormonal type thing, but combined with general life niceness. We’ve had a few gorgeous days in Exeter, and the beginning of spring makes me feel very positive – looking out the window of our manky kitchen to see a cluster of snowdrops is somewhat reassuring.

I went home on friday; the train journey home provided me with a good 3 hours to sink into a FICTION book; something I’ve not been able to let myself do for ages and really enjoyed it. Once Kay has finished with it, I’m going to borrow the first book of Northern Lights trilogy which I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

It was nice seeing my family again; my mother seems so much more alive at the moment, with all her new friends and interests – and in less than a month’s time she’s off to Australia with her sister. Andrew bought me birthday presents (or, to be more exact met me in town to buy me something) so I’ve got 3 cds I found in a charity shop, a -nice- flesh coloured pencil, and a ink pen.
I also had a good bit of time to sit in my room at home and start working on my next essay – I need to present it on tuesday, so time’s starting to run short!

I managed to get 75% for my last cognitive science essay, on language and thought which I am REALLY chuffed with – especially since it’s worth 7.5 credits by itself!

I came to the conclusion that I’m the kind of person who CAN do well, IF (and only if) I work as hard as a can – in which case, if I’m lucky, I’ll -just- get the top marks. This sort of situation is more annoying than you might think, since getting -less- than the top level is intensely frustrating since you can not help but shake the feeling that if you could have worked just a -little- harder…

On the flip side, I’m actively worrying less about work. My approach now is to try and methodically get through what I can, but give myself breaks and go out and do things even if it means pulling an all-nighter at the end and losing a few marks. I’m learning and experiencing more valuable things at university than simply work.

As to the work aspect itself, I know I’m heading to the outermost limits of what could be classified as ‘part of my course’, but I’m not worrying about that either. For once in my life I want the chance to pursue my intellectual interests, and if university is not the chance to do it then I don’t know what will. And no, I don’t want to be a postgrad! 🙂 🙂

To see a dodgy ‘ported from wordpro’ htm version of my essay, click here.