On reconnecting

I’m back at my parents’ house for Christmas.

The friend from school I hadn’t seen in something like 16/17 years was home for Christmas too, making this the perfect time to meet up again in person.

The original plan was to go to a pub for a drink, but I’m not a big drinker (or any kind of drinker worth the title) so we needed an alternative plan..

Walking was what we did most when we knew each other before, so I think it fitted well πŸ™‚

***

The weather wasn’t on our side, it is December in England after all, but what’s a bit of rain between friends? We ignored the gloomy overcast sky and set out anyway. It was still dry when we parked the car – the rain waited until we’d started walking. πŸ™‚

Then it got windy.

Berlin is never windy. Not like home is. It’s not something I notice missing until I’m reminded.. This was a horizontally wet reminder..

Whoosh!

The track was boggy and/or flooded almost all the way but it didn’t matter at all because luckily I’d borrowed mum’s unholey wellies so I didn’t have to think about where I walked.

There is something kind of awesome about wearing wellies in puddles.

Splosh!

When we got to the top of the hill we decided it was time to head back to the car.

A couple of hours isn’t anywhere near enough time to talk about all the things that need to be talked about.. But it was a start. A good start πŸ™‚

I feel like I not only reconnected with a friend, I also reconnected with the version of myself who used to wear wellies all the time πŸ™‚

On the seventeenth..

Today started with a Christmas lecture held by one of the professors I work for sometimes.

It ended with me handing my notice in.

These two things are completely unrelated, except for their joint ability to make me smile when I think about it πŸ™‚

About to celebrate with chocolate ice cream.

More another time πŸ™‚

On waiting for parcels

I recently bought a couple of things from ebay. Having the tracking number is part blessing, part curse.

I would like to say I’m a patient person but in reality I’m not.

I refresh the DHL app’s tracking page as if that would make it arrive more quickly. As if it knows, the delivery date changes from Thursday to Wednesday. Amazing.

On Wednesday (today) I hang around at home instead of going to work. From a previous (very annoying) encounter with the parcel delivery system I know the undelivered parcels are unloaded at around 10am. I assume that means delivery has to be attempted before 10. My house isn’t the closest to the parcel depot, so I imagined it should be getting to me at about 9, maybe 9:30.

When I finally leave for work, the parcel is apparently still on a scenic tour of the town.

When I get to work, I’m not sure if I want to check the app.

There are two possible outcomes: either it just missed me (which would be annoying because I could have stayed a few minutes longer) or it still isn’t there (in which case leaving late was entirely pointless).

Neither is a particularly positive reaction, maybe it’s better not to know at all…

***

I picked both parcels up from the depot in the drizzle when I got home.

On asking the other questions

“I was talking to my brother earlier. He’s like you, he asks all the questions I don’t want to be asked..” – S (but slightly paraphrased by me)

I think this is a good thing. In this particular case, and also in general.

I think we should ask ourselves, and others, the difficult questions. And then be open to the answers.

I also think “why not?” is often a much better question than “why?”.

On a related note, it’s interesting how sometimes people face (or find themselves facing) the same ‘life questions’ although their situations are seemingly very different. At least on the outside.

On love and phone theft

I phoned a friend yesterday.

Half an hour or so into the conversation her partner came into the room..

Friend’s Partner: is that Jess?

Friend: yes..

Friend’s Partner: I want to talk to her, give me the phone *takes phone*

Friend: (in background) ..but..

Friend’s Partner: shh! Go away, I’m on the phone!

Friend: ..but.. (in background) ok Jess, let’s talk later..

Friend’s Partner: *takes phone outside*

Can’t say anyone’s ever fought over the chance to talk to me before.. *loved*

On Jesus and the Billy Goats Gruff

Has anyone else noticed the similarities between the prophets, John the baptist and Jesus with the three Billy Goats Gruff?

“Me? Nah, I’m not tasty/big/important/mighty enough – you want the next guy, he’s much tastier/bigger/more important/mightier than me!”

(the small part where Jesus dies can be overlooked as part of the biggest-billy-goat-kicks-troll’s-butt scuffle – coming back to life presumably counts as winning overall).

On balance

It seems that it’s impossible to add purely Good Things to a life.

Great news? Bam! Bad news.

Good mood? Bam! Some reason to hide.

Have lots to do inside at the weekend? Bam! Have a couple of fabulously warm sunny days so you either feel guilty about missing them by being inside or about not doing the things you’d planned.

Finally get motivated enough to practise running? Bam! Do something to your ankle and need to take it steady for a while.

Finish a project at work? Bam! Get a crazy migraine headache and have to be rescued because there’s no way you’re going to cycle home.

Find a friend you haven’t seen for years? Bam! Someone you love is taken to hospital….

The great universal scales seems to need balance.

Banal or super-important, nothing is safe and even if nothing is actually related, sometimes it seems to be.

On tears and tablets

I need to go shopping.

The tears fall heavily, the breaths juddering and irregular, my thoughts spiralling and my face getting steadily more puffy.

The tears have nothing to do with my need to go shopping. They’re just there. And their presence is a hindrance.

I want go back to bed. To hide. To cry until all the tears are gone and there’s nothing left inside me.

I know that if I do that, the shops will shut before I resurface. Tomorrow they’ll stay closed, and by Monday I will be ravenous.

Instead of hiding, I take the tablets*, pushing them out of their blister packaging with shaking fingers, washing them down with big, greedy gulps of cold water.

I still need to go shopping.

Whatever magic is in those tablets, they’re truly incredible – the tears dry up almost instantly. I pull myself together. Pull myself back into this world of doing not being.

Then I wash my face, pick up my shopping bag and go shopping.

While I’m out, I buy postcards. The wordy sort my family don’t approve of. I’m going to put them on the wall with the others. Regardless.

The tablets might dry tears but they can’t reduce puffiness. The shops don’t care though. My money has the same value regardless of what my face looks like. This, I think, is probably a good thing.

* they’re just vitamin D. They contain more placebo than anything else πŸ™‚

On waiting for good things

It’s bad enough that it’s taken me a week to post this picture of thick, gloopy, Spanish hot chocolate.

It’s worse that it took me almost a year to make it.

It feels like it’s time to start doing/eating/drinking the good things and stop waiting for “someday” or the right day or any other kind of day except today.

***

Happy NaBloPoMo, all ye who are joining the madness πŸ™‚

On sunshine and other surprises

Sometimes, when it rains, you find rainbows in unexpected places

But sometimes weather forecasts lie and it hardly rains at all, despite dismal threats of torrential downpours..

“heavy rain” – day 1 of 3.

“heavy rain” – day 2 of 3

“heavy rain” – day 3 of 3

Sometimes it wouldn’t matter how much it rained because your hotel is actually a boat

Sometimes ferocious beasts live on the top floor of multi-storey buildings

Sometimes dangerous bridges need crossing (and sometimes they’re not as scary in real life as they are in your head)

Sometimes all you really need is a borrowed bike and a bench by the sea

***

Sometimes you go somewhere thinking it will be good, and it is; you go, you enjoy it and you come home content.

Sometimes you think something will be good and you’re disappointed when it isn’t.

Sometimes, and I think this is maybe the best kind, you don’t really know what you’re expecting so you hope it will be ok (or good), and prepare for rain (literal or figurative) just in case, and then are amazed by how wrong you were, because it turns out so much better than you could have expected.

This was one of those weekends.

πŸ™‚

One which is (going to be) memorable for more than just being good, because although not all of it was sunshine, the tears were somehow necessary and healing.

One where knocking over the Jenga blocks means you can start redesigning the tower.

One that wasn’t exactly “perfect”, but feels better than perfect because it was real. All of it.

One I’m glad to have had the pleasure of experiencing.

Thank you, world.

Xx

***

This is probably a good motto:

I consider lying on a huge wooden platform soaking up the sun and watching the world go by a good use of heartbeats

So is stopping to smell the roses during the only rainy patch of the weekend

On time management

Dear WWF campaigners,

I’m no time management expert, but I have a suggestion for you..

If you smile as you accost me on my way between the train and the bus and ask me for ONE minute of my time, I might actually choose to honour your request.

Here’s where I think there’s room for improvement. One minute is not a long time, so it’s important to know how you want to use it before it starts.

It’s not so much that I mind talking about where I’m going and what I’m planning to do when I get there and what I do for a living, it’s just the chance is pretty good that the minute will be up before you say a single word about pandas or rainforests or petitions or monthly donations.

Jus’ sayin’..

Also. If you’ve gone to the effect of preparing a presentation, maybe you could set up a big screen and let it play on repeat. People, myself included, would almost definitely rather watch it as they walk through the station than on a miniature tablet under close scrutiny.

You never know. They might even stop to talk to you about it. Possibly for longer than a minute ;p

Regards,

Jesska

On certifiable safety

I don’t really understand what goes on behind the screen, so when I got the second message from a reader who couldn’t open my website without immense risk, I asked the experts.

They did something, and now it works again.

I think.

If it doesn’t, please let me know..

On magic-crushing photos

I went out to dinner tonight, wearing my new dress*.

It’s made of flowing material that swirls around my knees when I walk.

It’s neither tight nor sack-like and it hangs well,

I felt good, good enough to think I might look good too.

When I got back, I still felt good so I asked H to take some photos. He obliged, but afterwards, when he handed the camera back and I clicked through the pictures, all the magic was broken.

Moral of the story?

I don’t know. Maybe you should just enjoy the fantasy world inside your head without trying to capture it.

***

* Yup. I bought a dress at the weekend! No panic involved.