Saturday, 26 February 2011

Healing hands and best-laid plans

So. I woke up this morning from a nightmare at about 4a.m, with a blinding headache, and despite having swallowed a handful of sleeping pills (only OTC ones; I don't think they're very potent) couldn't get back to sleep again. A got up and made me some warm milk and honey, which cured my headache but did nothing to stop my thoughts spinning off into orbit, as they're sometimes prone to do in the early morning.

It's now 5.45a.m and I'm downstairs just dying for morning because I've had the most exciting idea. We've been looking for an inexpensive low table to set up in our living room, big enough for 4 or 5 people to sit around, so that we can make up some big floor cushions, get our shisha pipe in there, get rid of our dining table, and start sitting on the floor to eat, Moroccan-style. This would fit in very well with our current decor, which is largely owned by A's parents and is very globally-inspired. It would also fit in with our current life, which sees us spending more time sitting on the floor than on any furniture in any case. Anyway, back to the point. As I was lying in bed, I thought, why do we not just make the table ourselves, using little stacks of books for the legs, and, oh, anything! Two sheets of perspex with some old black and white photos or beautiful fabric in between, or a sheet of plywood painted up how we like, or an old wooden table-top, or just about anything we can think of, for the top! A little internet research reveals that this is very do-able, especially if one drills a bore through the stack of books for stability. (Book purists, forgive me, for I am about to sin.)

So now I'm restlessly waiting for A to wake up so I can get his take on it, and for the stores to open so I can go buy some beautiful old books!

The other thing that had me too excited to sleep (I know, I need to get out more) is that A and I have been struggling to agree on a fabric for our bedroom curtains. The stuff I like, while not Cath-Kidston-cutesy, is still a little feminine for his tastes. So, I suddenly thought, why not buy some heavy white burlap/hessian and fabric spray paint, have A cut some cool stencils (maybe along the lines of these wall sticker designs at Rockett St George) on the laser-cutter, spray paint the stencils onto the burlap, and voila! Non-feminine, quirky, pretty curtain fabric.

6a.m... now what to do for three hours until the shops open...?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Sickness and doctors

Poor A has been in bed with a horrible flu for about a week and a half - fevers and cold sweats and feeling lightheaded and vomiting... Everything that can go wrong with a person's body, it seems, has! He's passed a much milder (thankfully!) form on to me, so I've been off work too for the last couple of days, mostly in bed, or lying on the couch reading.

We both went to our separate doctors the other day, he for his flu and I... well, for different reasons. He got sent away with instructions to rest and drink plenty of fluids, and I got referred to the mental health department. They're going to assess me for bipolar disorder. I'm pretty much scared out of my mind by this prospect. When I was younger, I thought it might be quite exciting to have a mental illness. Mark you out as kind of special and maybe a little mysterious, y'know? But now that it could actually happen, I'm terrified!

I looked up the symptoms online, largely to set my mind at rest that this couldn't possibly apply to me, and it had the opposite effect. When I saw 'clang associations' on the list - grouping words together based on their sounds rather than on their meanings - I almost laughed out loud. I have pages and pages of paper covered in meaningless scrawls like "demonym noumenon mnemonic demonic.. yemen lemon... a contrivance alliance, compliant and silent...fate sate berate flocculate...imputed reputed refuted uprooted...accolade calvalcade hand grenade...loitered the daughter her goiter to slaughter...jocular jugular..." I didn't think this was a 'symptom' though, I think it's more of a personal quirk. Sometimes people find it a little weird when I respond to a question using a random set of words that rhyme with the one I actually mean, but it's harmless, right?

Anyway, the doctor gave me this questionnaire to fill out. I brought it home with me and sat on our living room floor ridiculing the questions while A pointed out to me very gently that I do actually do a number of the things on the list. I have to call them to make a further appointment...

Procrastinating much?

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tripped by stitches ice cream, (you'll) come undone...

I went for dinner with one of my best friends last night. At my suggestion, we had Thai; I know it's not a very shrinking-friendly option, but if you do a little research in advance it doesn't have to be totally sabotageury (yes, I did just make that word up). I ate about 1 1/2 cups stir-fry beef and vegetables, and maybe 2 tablespoons of steamed rice. So far, so good. Then my friend spotted deep fried ice-cream on the dessert menu... she's one of those girls who eats what she wants. So she's big, but for the most part she doesn't really care. I was doomed. Ice cream is my waist's biggest nemesis. Now, before you freak out, no, I didn't order a deep fried ice cream. But I did order a normal one. *sigh*

I woke up this morning at about 5, immediately remembered what I'd done and had a big freak-out about it. I've had the flu the last couple days so have been really groggy and unproductive, and immensely frustrated by that fact. I raced around the house, exhausted but wired, loud and overwhelmed by the need to accomplish something, woke A up, told him I was walking to work, that I needed to leave right now and could he pick me up in the evening. We tussled briefly over this, I shouted at him, not because he'd done anything wrong. He knew he hadn't, so he sighed, persuaded me to come back to bed, and I slept until 11.

My friend - I hadn't seen her for a couple months - said to me last night "Soph... have you lost weight?"
"Yes No! Haha, I wish."
"Really? You look more, uh... in-and-out. Y'know? 'Hourglass'..."
"Urgh sexual organs. Lose them. Oh, ha! No. It's just good underwear *wink*"

Friday, 18 February 2011

Oh! Shrinking... do I love thee? *Gleeful laugh*

For the first time in, oh, living memory, I really feel like I'm getting smaller. I've seen the numbers go down before, but always wondered at how they can dwindle and yet you remain resolutely hefty, solid, present. At how the numbers can lie, telling you you're tiny when you can see, for crying out loud, with your own hateful eyes that you're grossly, hilariously, in excess!

Because we never really get any smaller, do we? Not in the sense that we're looking for.

But now, just for a moment, I wonder if, just maybe, even I could become pretty and delicate and fine. And I feel giddy at this thought.

Ladies. We can do anything.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


WOOP! Finally! I've cracked 120 :) This gives me a BMI of 18.7, about 3 lbs away from being clinically underweight. (Although, who makes these BMI charts up? I'm pretty sure I could lose a good 10 lbs before I started to look anywhere approaching underweight! Anyhoo...)

Unfortunately it's been kind of a shitty last couple of days. A's unit at university goes on field trips sometimes, somewhere down in the woods in the South of the country. I've never really given them much thought; it looks like a beautiful place they go to, and there's a big workspace/studio down there where they can all experiment with different materials and things; he seems to have fun down there and that makes me happy. Anyway, he'd told me a while ago that his unit was going to have another trip coming up in March. Actually, he'd suggested that I come down there with them and get to see the place, which sounded like fun. But then, very abruptly, he said to me one day last week, "oh, I think I'll be going down to (this place) in a few weeks, but I don't think we can afford for you to come", so I was a little nonplussed that he'd uninvited me so suddenly and without any discussion, but I didn't think much of it - it is a study trip for him after all, and I've no need to be there.

So that was maybe a week ago. But then, last night, I was using his computer, and one of his female friends came on Skype. We'd had a fairly open - I thought - and amicable conversation about this girl a day or two ago, because I felt like there was something about her that he wasn't telling me, that they were maybe closer than he was letting on. But he assured me that, no, they only talk "sometimes", that they're just friends, there's nothing weird going on. And I tried hard to push my niggling doubts aside and believe him.

So last night, she came online, and, against my better judgement, I opened up their Skype chat log (I know, I know, this is asking for trouble, and I KNOW it's wrong to look through other peoples' private correspondence...) but I saw that not only do they speak almost every night, but that a couple weeks ago he and she had been making plans to go on this trip without the rest of the unit. She was saying things like "I'll see if they have space for the two of us"... In A's defense, he did at that point suggest that there might be other people in the unit who'd like to come with them, so maybe he wouldn't have gone with just her if it had come to it, but that was the only point in the conversation where he said *anything* contrary to the two of them going alone together. The rest of the exchange was just the two of them talking about what dates would work for them personally.

Anway, when I saw this, I just felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. This place is like a little hideaway in the woods, tree-houses and little log-cabins, lots of cute, unique tiny little buildings dotted about amongst the trees, very picturesque. Well I confronted him about it, of course, and he said he'd never had any intention of going with her. But even so, why didn't he think the exchange was even worth mentioning to me when we spoke about her? And why did he never defend our marriage? Why didn't he stop her, tell her, "I'm not really comfortable going away with just you, because I'm married"? Is it so important not to hurt her feelings? Am I not even worth standing up for?

He insists that his conversation with her had nothing to do with my invitation suddenly being retracted, and I want to believe him, I really do, but am I just being incredibly naive? If that's true, why had he kept it from me?

We had a big, ugly confrontation about this. I shouted at him, beat him with my fists, cut my arms with a kitchen knife until he restrained me. Am I an evil, cynical bitch for feeling suspicious and betrayed? Or a foolish, naive child for wanting to trust him?

He says he goes to her for reassurance, that he talks to her when he's lonely, that I don't understand his work in the way she does. And it's true. I don't. But I never will - I'm not an architect, I'm a linguist. There'll always be some architect girl ready to take him away to a little cabin in the woods and comfort him; if it's not this girl, it'll be the next. I can't give him what she gives. 119 is not small enough; I don't want to be here at all, with this shame.

In the words of Adeline, watch me vanish.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


...which means I did put on a little during the time in Nepal, but it was less than a pound over the week, so I'm fine with that; it's nothing I can't lose. And the food was so good! We did a lot of walking too, so I wasn't too worried.

Thank you to Cinnamon Brown for your sweet Valentine's wish. How did you guess I was one of those sappy types who totally goes in for Valentine's day? ;)

Re your comment, I'm actually not Nepalese, though I wish I was! I'm Canadian-Indian-Portuguese, but was born in Kathmandu and lived there as a child. Somehow, even though I've lived in Britain longer than I ever lived in Nepal, Nepal still feels like it "fits" me a little better, y'know? I feel less like I'm rattling loosely around inside my head, and more like I'm snugly wrapped in something comfortable and secure.

The trip was amazing. I was not ready to come home by the end of it. We didn't really get out of the city, as we only had a week there and it wasn't actually a holiday for A - he had work to do and people to meet with. But we saw lots of interesting and beautiful things in Kathmandu, met some wonderful people, got some much-needed sunshine, laughed a lot, tried a couple new things, and came home feeling happy and in love. And A managed to meet some really helpful contacts who gave him tons of information for his project.

We didn't have much internet connectivity out there, so I've been catching up on your blogs since getting back. It's always good to read your thoughts and experiences :)

Well, it's warming up here, so I'd like to start running again. I'm ashamed to say I stopped, completely, over the winter. We had an inordinate amount of snow and ice over Christmas, so I intended to just take a break while the roads were slippery, but they've been clear for about a month now and I still haven't got back out there... *looks sheepish* I just hate the cold so much more than anything else! But I'm determined to start again this evening. I'll see if I can force A out into the cold with me too - a little competition always helps!

I hope you all are having a good week - February's such a 'blah' month for many people, but I hope you're finding little things to keep the blues at bay.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Abu Dhabi

Well, I'm stuck in Abu Dhabi airport for 9 hours on my way to Kathmandu with A (yay!). It's a long enough layover that we thought about leaving the airport and doing some sight-seeing, except our flight got in at about 1am and the next one leaves at 10am, so it's not really prime sight-seeing time! Although, anything has to be better than staying in the airport... we have another similar layover on the way back, but a little earlier, starting around 8pm, so should be able to find something fun to do :)

So, the good news is that I came back from the States lighter than I went, which I'd hoped for but not expected. It's not a massive loss - 2 1/2 lbs - but it's better than nothing, and definitely better than a gain! The bad news is that this left me at 120.8; still not cracked the 120s! Arghh!!

I'm going to do my best while we're in Nepal, but it's both impractical and culturally unacceptable to be very anal about what you eat out there, particularly when you're not cooking for yourself. Plus (question my resolve if you will), I do think it's kind of a shame to go somewhere so beautiful and exotic and totally miss out on the mountains/markets/people/temples/architecture because you're staring miserably at your plate or panicking about that dumpling someone offered you. Sometimes it's ok to live a little...

I'm super excited to be travelling with A to the country of my birth! It's been a while since I've been back - my language skills are more than a little rusty, and the political landscape has been totally upheaved (if that wasn't a word before, it is now), so I'm excited to see what the place is like now. And I really want him to have a wonderful time, and to make hundreds of memories filled with beautiful people and experiences. (Another reason *not* to throw a fit about how much rice has been piled on my plate...)

I'll try and post some while I'm out there, but even if I don't get a chance to write much, I will certainly be reading yours :)