The transit of Venus approacheth! I am going to an all-night event thing which should be fun. If the weather is kind, the transit will be visible in the UK from sunrise until nearly six a.m. tomorrow.

After that, I plan to sleep.


ETA: The weather was not kind. The event was fun, our team came third equal in the quiz, there were pretty pictures and video from various places. We went outside just in case, even though it was quite cloudy, and so we wound up with a dozen people clustered around a laptop and the rest of us just standing around eating croissants. I saw a squirrel jump out of a bin, and while we were waiting at the bus stop a young guy asked us what time it was and apparently his phone had been telling him it was half-eight (it was quarter-past-six). And I got home and slept a bit and was up for a bit and slept a whole lot more.

ETAA: Also I had weird dreams, which is not unusual for me, and this one included Phil-off-of-Time-Team either proposing or getting married to a dude. And it took me a while after I woke up to remember it wasn't true.
GRARGH

I just spent a joyous half-hour waiting outside my close door with a big bag of shopping, because apparently the lock got repaired last week and so people have been locking it, but I don't have a sodding key.

As there is a chemists in the building, which has a side door into the close, I went in and asked. Counter-lady said they had three or four people in yesterday with the same problem, including a letting agent. Chemist-lady gave me the factor's number and said they couldn't let me in. I called the factor, and left my number for the right woman to call me back when she came back from her tea break.

In the meantime, I poked at the entry system, which may or may not work to buzz people but doesn't seem to work as an intercom.

Factor-lady called back, said they hadn't told the chemist not to let anyone in, said they don't actually have a master key, said to get in touch with my landlord.

I know from a previous incident that my landlord doesn't have a key.

I went back into the chemist. No joy.

Called landlord-dad, blethered out the whole problem, then realised, that's no good, he'll get all complicated and 'oh but they can't do that because this' so I firmly checked if he had a key then told him I would handle it.

Then chemist-lady took pity and let me in, and I was very grateful, and she said it was only this once, and I agreed and thanked her and all that. I think the thing about not letting me in came either from head office or from manager or was in fact her idea because, yes, letting random people in is not really on. Still. Argh.

Landlord-dad called back asking, is the chemist not open? can they not let you in? Which, I did tell him the whole thing but apparently he only caught about a third of it.

I put a note on the door asking people not to lock it and put it on the snib, and I will be going round the neighbours later to find someone with a key that I can get copied.

What a pain in the arse. I mean, it'll be nice to have a close that can't get used by the odd junkie and/or pisshead, but I don't know what the postie's going to do. Maybe the chemist will let him in.

ETA: Also, first time I went in the chemist, I was the only customer there. Counter-lady told chemist-lady "there's a woman blah blah blah" and when chemist-lady came out, she looked at me dubiously, looked around, looked at her colleague, looked at me again, looked at her colleague again, then finally came to talk to me. It's not like I've got a crewcut any more... but maybe I look too young for "woman". Eh.
I had my first ECDL class today. Well, yesterday. You know what I mean, days are between sleeps.

It was OK? There was another new person and an almost-new person and we had to sit around for a bit at the beginning while another class was using the computers to do quizzes on moodle, but one of those was about sex, drugs and alcohol (I am not even kidding) so that broke the ice a bit.

It is not a proper class, it is a Flexible Learning Session, so you all work away from your books but the lecturer is there if you need help. I got through the first chunk of the word processing module, it was a bit odd because I have not used Word 2007 before and it has different menus and such. Also it kept having me open a document, save it as something else, then close it again. I can kind of see the point but it got a bit annoying.

And at the end I went awkward and walked out without saying goodbye and did not get the theory booklet I am supposed to have but I can get it next week, it is all fine.

Also I may filled out the letter template using fictional people, but I think that's fair.
Yesterday was my last day at Key Enterprises. It is a charity for people with mental health problems; it provides routine and teaches various skills. I have been going there for a little over two years - during that time I have met quite a few people, learned how to refinish furniture, taught myself pyrography, and improved in terms of mental health. Unfortunately they have lost funding and are closing; I decided not to attend this Thursday as I am going up to Aberdeen, so yesterday was my last day. I gave people cards, and left cards and small presents for the other two still attending my department, who are not in on Mondays. I was given a few cards and a small bunch of flowers, which was very nice. I walked out with two carrier bags full of stuff - books, material, bits of wood; with a stitch-picker in one pocket and a dozen nails in the other. And I knew it was coming but I am still sad and kind of confused.

Today I have been doing very little - I skipped my evening class, again, but I will go back in January and do my best not to miss another time. But this year my present-making has branched out into woodwork, so I have just been doing that, and managed to injure myself. If I had sanded my knuckles, or hit my hand with a hammer, or cut myself with a stanley knife or a saw or whatever, I would not have been surprised. But I cut myself with a drill.

Cut yourself with a drill, you say? How in the world did you manage that?

Well, it was a good drill, and a not-so-good drill bit. I was working on top of a big wooden toolbox, holding the wood in place with my foot (it is a two-handed drill). And as I attempted to drill a second hole right next to the first, the drill slipped, the tip hit the work surface, the bit bent, and as the drill wound down, the tip of the whirling drill bit caught my foot. It bled.

I should have bought myself a vice before I started. Or at least been wearing shoes.
I have a nephew!

Parentals were driving up so I went with, though I sincerely regretted forgetting my music beast. Anyway, baby was born very early this morning, is a little on the small side but generally ok, and I didn't drop him or anything, which is good. He is kind of wrinkled and generally baby-shaped.

Babies are kind of ridiculously small, aren't they?
I am visiting my sister. I brought my laptop but forgot the charger, doh. Luckily she is married to a gadget geek and I am using one of their tablets, however I cannot remember most of my passwords and bookmarks. Boo. Also I may get his old smartphone, but I find it slightly terrifying.

Baby is due soon-ish but probably not while I am here. People at Key suggested I stay until babby arrives but that was not the plan and I feel like I would be in the way, I am not so desperate to see the baby that I am willing to wait in a hospital for several hours.

Um. Anyway. I woke up and needed food or I would still be in bed. Never mind, I can nap later.
So, some stuff has happened - not a great deal, but some, still, and anyway.

I signed up to do a craft fair, and then it got postponed to last weekend because of a fire at the venue, and hardly any customers came, and I sold one keyring, which doesn't even cover my bus fare, and I tweaked my knee carrying all my shit home again. But I am giving them another chance and doing their next fair in about a month and if that is crap then I will stop throwing good money after bad.

My bank account is looking a bit unhappy as I have been spending more money than usual lately - with the craft fair, getting in a bunch of stuff to work on, and a few random bits and pieces, and also with yarn, of course. My stash is increasing because whenever I want something for a specific pattern I seem to wind up buying other stuff as well. I have been knitting a variety of baby stuff - oh, hey! reading back I see that I have not actually posted about that.

My sister is pregnant, due in a little over two months. It is the first spawn of the next generation, so it is all rather exciting and as I say, I have been knitting a bunch of stuff. She was down for work last weekend and has quite the bump, and I have just about got past calling it a parasite.

Also I had one of those moments where you think of the perfect retort ten minutes too late, because she made a comment about me going grey - I have a visible sprinkling, which I find quite amusing, especially being the youngest, and with the whole thing about Katie Holmes going grey when she is like five years older than me and not as 'bad' - and what I should have said is that she'll obviously catch up once she has the kid.

Eh. Stuff.

Oh, and Key - where I go to do the furniture stuff - has lost its NHS funding, which is what pays for me and most of the other clients to go there. So that stops at the end of the year, and since there will only be a few folk still going unless they get a training contract or something, there's a decent chance the whole place will close down. Which sucks, because I like it and it's been really good for me, and... yeah.

Also I have a lump on my finger where I scratched it the other day, except I didn't think I broke the skin so I don't know why it has gone lumpy. Hopefully it will go away by itself but if it gets worse I am totally going to the doctor because it would suck if my finger fell off. Not that that's likely, but, well. Better safe than sorry.
Today, the first Tuesday since I stopped seeing my psychotherapist, I didn't go out - not to the shop, or to knitting group, or to visit a friend like I said I would.

And now it's so late it's early, and I'm still doing nothing, and I just heard myself planning the excuse to my friend, that I felt insane today.

Gee, I wonder if there's a connection.

It's slightly terrifying, actually. Not just not having that support any more, but thinking that I might be 'better' - the extensions of which being that maybe I'm just lazy when I don't get up, and maybe I really should be doing more, and maybe this is all I'll ever manage, which is vaguely content but with a pile of regrets - and thinking that I might not - extensions include worrying about another downward slide and 'holy shit what if something happens that I can't cope with and what if...'

It should be a good thing, that I'm not seeing him any more, and it is, when it isn't three in the morning after a litany of failures. And I'm hungry, which never helps, so I shall eat and sleep and then I shall do at least some of the things I didn't do today.
I went to a party held by a guy from Key, and I talked to some people, and one guy was talking to me about Dr Who and said nice things about me and then, and then I went, "shit, he's hitting on me." Because I don't notice things like that, because he's older than me (has a son only eight years younger than me), because I am poorly socialised, because I am reasonably non-sexual and thus expect other people to perceive me that way despite the epic tits.

And it's just going to be awkward next time I see him, whether or not he remembers.

Also I'm hoping not to see the guy who asked me if I'm a dyke. I tried to explain to him that it was not a nice word to use, but, eh. I told him, "sometimes." And a friend of mine told me she pulled him up for that, said it was none of his business and it didn't matter anyway, which was comforting.

He said if his 15-year-old daughter was a dyke, he'd set her straight. And I tried to tell him, y'know, that's not how it works, but... some people, some circumstances, you can't educate. It's not my job to make him listen.

I am still kind of wtf about getting hit on. I mean, work-ish party, ill-advised hookups are, I believe, to be expected, but... but... he's middle-aged! I'm me! What?

ETA: I have hiccups. :(

ETAA: Also he likes Rose, that is totally a valid reason to tell him to piss off, right?
Just had a thought which is making me laugh a little through the tears.

I wound up quite insistent about getting my mother's name put on the gravestone, because it had been several years and I wanted her visibly remembered and such.

I just realised there was an element of selfishness there. Because at the time, I was verging on suicidal. It's only now that I can look back and say, "oh. I wanted some reassurance that, if nothing else, my name would be on a stone somewhere."

I'm doing better now. I still have bad days, and I'm a lazy besom, but it's actually kind of frightening to think about how far I am from where I used to be, mentally.

Of course, right now I'm not fresh from looking at jobs, courses, or finances, which all get me down. Even then, though, my future may be murky, but at least it exists. I'm going to keep making things. I'll write, every so often. I'm going to be an aunt, how weird and cool.

And I'm not living from event to event, the way I used to. ("can't kill myself before K's wedding, G's birthday, can't mess up Christmas...")

I'm just living. And that's OK.
Weird day. Well, evening, rather.

Crappy day, because my digestive system has gone a bit haywire. I got myself together enough to go to the shop and get some lemonade, crackers and paracetamol, and at the checkout the woman asked if I was all right and if I would like a glass of water - I think she thought I had a sore throat or something, but I was just talking like I felt utterly pathetic and hadn't actually used my voice yet.

About ten minutes ago, someone knocked at my door, moving up from fumbling at the letterbox to banging by the time I got jeans on and went to answer. Drunk old guy, leaning on the door, asking for Julie, then Shona, and I said, "no, just me," and immediately regretted it, but he sort of stumbled away. I think he tried another door, but I'm pretty sure I can still hear him out on the stairs, and I think he puked. I'm not going to go investigate. (Also, I never replaced the chain on my door which was broken before I moved in. Probably I should do that.)

And I just got a phone call, from one of the guys who delivered my carpets over a year ago, with whom I exchanged a couple of texts at the time, having given him my number because I was flattered and attempting to be "more outgoing" etcetera. Wound up hanging up on him, which I think was the most efficient way of dealing with the situation.

Oh crap, drunk guy's back at my door.

ETA: ignored it, he gave up pretty fast and I heard movement, but I think he's still out there. Also, my phone just rang again - ignored that too.

Nothing like either of these things has happened to me... pretty much ever, actually. And here I am, with both of them, at once, after a day spent feeling sorry for myself with more justification than usual.

ETAA: drunk guy tried again and I answered, to see blood on his face. I asked if he was all right, and if he was sure he was in the right place, and closed the door on him again, and I just heard the main door go bang, so he's gone. I can hear someone talking to him outside, actually - well, I assume it's him, since, "you all right?" is a major component. Maybe I should have done more, but he didn't seem seriously hurt (if he had I'd have called an ambulance) and I don't like strangers in my house and considering I live alone, not letting in a drunk guy seems perfectly reasonable. So there.
I still exist, btw.

Christmas was pretty good - took the train up to sister's near Aberdeen, which was even prettier than usual due to snow, but the carriage had no heating. Anyway. That happened, and I finished her jumper at around 2a.m. on Christmas Day, and a box from a website with about five presents in didn't arrive until the 29th so I had to go to the shops on the 22nd and get replacements, and such. And I have not actually seen any family yet this year because when Dad came over the other day I was out. Um.

I had an [livejournal.com profile] edithmatilda for the New Year, that was nice. She brought me presents and made me tea.

On the way back from the shop this evening I saw a fox, it was in a garden and when I stopped to look at it, it just looked back at me for a second then got on with sniffing around the grass.

I have been writing bits of fic for Inception, half of which were written before I had even seen the damn film, and have created a sock-journal for it, because I am made of twitchiness.

Today I applied for a job with the help of a woman at Working Links. And I am guaranteed an interview. Which is vaguely terrifying but distant enough to be no more than that.

Oh! I am apparently dead! At the doctors last week, he tried to take my blood pressure - twice on the left arm, then once on the right, then he got another machine and tried again, and he got an error message each time, so clearly I am some kind of alien being. Or maybe I'm a wizard fucking up technology. That would really suck, actually, I get upset when my internet dies - it did that the other day because I'd accidentally hit the switch for the wireless adapter and I was really twitchy about it.

I am totally not procrastinating the next bit of my stupid WIP. Not at all.
Cleanness! I have washed all my dishes, and the towels I was using, and just finished bleaching the hell out of the bathroom, and once the floor dries I'm going to have a shower for the first time in nearly a week and then probably change the sheets on my bed, and I can has clean!

The toilet problem was rectified late Thursday morning, mostly by nature, and then that day I had lots of dripping from the ceiling and that evening the fuse for my lights blew, and it still isn't fixed because I don't have fuse wire, but I do have lamps and candles, so, whatever. Friday I was mostly catching up on sleep, though I washed some towels and went to the shops. Today is cleeeeeeeeeeeeean.

Apparently my neighbours have no water, which sucks for them, but mine is OK so far.

Dad says the meeting of owners to try and organise something is not going to happen until January at the earliest, but he's getting a plumber to come some time soon and take a look and see if there's anything that will work as a temporary fix.

Isn't it odd how my dream house started off with spiral staircases and window-seats, and now has decent wiring and modern plumbing?

ETA: Argh. Cannot shower because it will not go warm. Suspect the thermostat is tied to the fuse that's blown.

Oh! Dad called as I was writing this and he's coming over to fix the fuse, so if that is what's wrong I will be able to shower and even if not, I will have lights.

ETAA: Have lights! Dad thinks shower problem related to low water pressure, possibly related to big-ass leak downstairs, so, wait and see. Ho-hum. Food time now.
My internet was broken last night, which was horrible, and this morning my toilet is flooded, so I have other people's piss all over my bathroom, which is disgusting.

I had a nice little story about being awake at half-three and hearing something odd and finding it was my toilet burping, and I went out and melted and got quite an impressive jet of water, and... I just heard it go again, goddammit, I've already taken one bucket of piss out to the drain in the street and I don't want to take another, but I may have to if I can't melt through soon.

I want to bleach the entire world right now. Including my feet. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

5:20 p.m. ETA: I have taken out several buckets of piss-water. I have been up and down with the blow-torch all day and have melted, I believe, two feet of ice-blocked-pipe. This has not been enough. My bathroom stinks, my kitchen sink is now not draining at all, the hoped-for-thaw might not happen tomorrow if the trend in predicted temp continues, at one point water was dripping through my bathroom ceiling... ARGH. I will probably just not sleep tonight, though I may give up on the blowtorch soon because it is not lasting long. Still, at least I set up a shoebox to prop it so I'm not breaking my back bending over any more. If this is not fixed before the next freeze then dad can bloody well come look after the place, I've had enough.

6:40 p.m. ETA: I am done, I am through, I have had it. The blowtorch was only lasting five minutes, so it's retired for the night. The folk upstairs (who apparently only moved in today - oops!) know about it, the flat above them appears to be empty (all their windows are open, which to me implies there is nobody there, given that it's supposedly -7 Celsius. I wrung out the towels (ooh, me aching back! ooh, me reddened fingers!) and took out a final bucket, and if I have to empty any more tonight they're going out the damn window, as that's where it ends up anyway with the pipes as they are. I am going to wait until I can't smell piss any more, and then I might have dinner. Maybe I'll just open the vodka.
Oh dear, it looks like I cannot see my psychoanalyst man because the buses are off. I am terribly disappointed.

I had to walk home yesterday, because I went to Key even though it was snowing and half-an-hour later was told, "go quick, the buses are going off." So I wound up walking. It was OK, only two miles or so, but I was pretty wet by the time I got in.

And my shower has started burping again, so I was outside melting ice off the pipe, and the one for the toilet, but I had to come in because the blowtorch doesn't really like the cold and it was getting a bit feeble. But it's sitting on a radiator and I'll be out again in a bit.

I feel sorry for the postie, he's out as usual. Brr.

ETA: oh for the love of god my FEET! my choice is between my old boots which I just realised are coming away from the soles, and my new boots which are not worn in yet and with thick socks make my feet cramp. I am rubbing them now. Ow.
My plumbing-related trials and tribulations continue...

You may recall that at the beginning of the year, my bathroom was flooding every time the people upstairs used water, because the down-pipe was frozen, and it got worse when the toilets' down-pipe followed suit. Once the weather improved, it stopped, and I put it out of my mind, and never actually pushed for anything to be done.

Now, as it happens, the council wrote to the assorted landlords a couple of weeks ago to say the broken down-pipes are a hygiene issue and Must Be Fixed Soon. So discussions started happening.

Well, it started snowing early Saturday morning. On Sunday, I woke up at 7:15 a.m. (yuck!) to the sound of a familiar glug-glug-glug which heralded, yes, another bathroom flood. I dealt with the water; I wrapped up and went outside with the blow-torch, and melted the ice off the down-pipe, as far up as I could reach; success! water trickling down the outside of the pipe and draining from my system.

I sent messages that day and Monday, then dad (who is my landlord) called, because he'd only got the last message. I was under the impression that the council-related plumbing was only the toilets' down-pipe, and had asked if it could be extended to the other pipe, but apparently they are talking about replacing all the pipes, which frankly should have been done years ago if not, y'know, sometime this year before it all froze again. And I told him, hey, there's a big crack, which I'd noticed while melting ice, and he said, yeah, I know. He must have known about it since January. If this was any other landlord, dad would be outraged at him not fixing a problem he'd known about for ten months: but the landlord is himself so it's fine. Argh.

Anyway, yesterday, it was icing up again, so I was out in the afternoon melting more ice. Then today, I went out in the morning and saw it was considerably iced further up - basically outside my flat. I was running late, so I just went. Got home to find that there had been a small flood in my bathroom, and my heating had mysteriously switched itself off, which may in fact be part of the reason the pipe is so badly iced up - no heat from mine. Still, I switched it back on, I went out with the blowtorch... and my lighter didn't work. I came back up, searched for matches, eventually took a candle, switched on my gas hob, lit the candle, went out, turned on the gas to light the blowtorch... and it blew the candle out. Back up, light the hob, light the candle, light the blowtorch, go out, and it lasted about five minutes before it gave up. Back up, set the blowtorch on the radiator to get warm, test the lighter to find it was working, having warmed up some. Lean out the bathroom window and inspect the pipe out there, which has at least a centimetre of ice surrounding it. Wait. Go out with blowtorch and lighter, melt ice off the down-pipe as high as I can reach, except for the bit that's the direct drain from my downstairs neighbour because it's thick with ice and the blowtorch is getting a bit feeble. Kick away the ice that's forming on the toilets' down-pipe. Look at the icicles further up, and think, if I had a stick... Look for stick, but do not find. Back up to flat, and have sudden brainwave - the curtain pole that I bought months ago but haven't put up out of sheer laziness! Get it out of packaging and go outside again - can only reach the lowest icicle, not the ones from the drain right out of my bathroom. Inside. Stand on the toilet and hang out the bathroom window again, this time with the pole, and with a whack! and a thwack! the icicles fall.

And now I'm warming up again.
I have been actually nocturnal for the last few days. This is bad. I am feeling... weird. I have been reading lots of fic for a film I haven't actually seen, which isn't that unusual for me.

Stupid psychiatrist man is off on holiday. It doesn't feel like seeing him is helpful but then I am not very good at being self-aware. Usually I have to look at my actions and then say, oh, right. So the current nocturnal behaviour could be to do with not seeing him, or lack of direction at Key, or because I've been thinking I really ought to Do Something which obviously makes me curl up in horror, or something else that I haven't thought of yet.

Finally got my back window replaced last week, which was good but did involve having guys in my house for half the day, which was stressful, and then I fell asleep in my jeans and missed my pottery class. Agh.

Stuff, stuff, stuff, right now I am swithering about spending money on a concert ticket, it is actually pretty standard money for a big show but that is more than I want to spend on a night out. Grr.

I did actually lie down and try sleeping a few hours ago but obviously I did not try very much. Yesterday I went to bed around eight a.m. and woke up about six p.m. which is Not Good and also I will have to be out on Thursday for Key - actually I missed it on Monday because I was sleeping all day, and obv the stupid sleep patterns and lack of motivation and freaking boredom is why I am posting for once, maybe I will try and post a little more often than once in a blue moon, but then again maybe not, I never really have anything to say, and I keep meaning to write but then I get all worried about it and I even bought alcohol to aid the writing process but I wound up just drinking it because I couldn't be arsed making up some diluting juice. Feh. Bored, bored, bored. Stupid brain.
So, on Saturday, I abseiled off Finnieston Crane, which is a Glasgow landmark, and pictures exist. Apparently I really ought to set the calendar on my camera. Hmm. Anyway, it was scary but fun and I raised £117 for a couple of worthy charities (which are not actually my favoured charities but clearly have epic fundraisers). I did fall on my arse when I reached the bottom, because my legs were not sure about holding me.

Um, I have not been posting much. For a while I was posting updates for teh nos' while she was in hospital, and I was visiting a lot. My life has not been tremendously happening. I have a couple of epic bruises on my leg right now, one from a flippy seat on a bus and one from tripping up some metal stairs.

Tonight I had my first pottery class! It was mostly demonstrations, in the end I made three tiles and I will paint them next week, probably. I will try and have a go on one of the wheels next week as well, it looks tremendous fun if quite difficult.

Also I had a go at making paper today, I will not know how it has worked until the pieces dry, which they are doing at the moment.

Um. Yeah.
*flails quite a lot*

I made a folksy shop and I just put stuff on it after fiddling with pictures for hours. Still have not sorted my thumbnail out, oh well. Um. Yes. And of course the stuff there is not nearly as cool as the stuff I have been doing at Key, and, and, and I'm considering booze to make me pass out because I'm all twitchy now and I really ought to sleep, I have to be somewhere this afternoon.

*twitch*

The name was the product of late night and booze, actually, that was last week. I am only putting up stuff now because I told familials I'd made it and I'm seeing psych-man today (assuming I make it... dammit I will I will I've done this now). Argh. The selling thing is so not me.
OH EM GEE!

My new laptop arrived, it is very exciting! and it is a lot faster than my old one, for sure, I can tell already.

la la la...

I did not go see psychiatric-man because I had just got it delivered and I was EXCITED and then I went out to get the bus and I waited and then there were two at once and the first was busy so then I tried to stop the second one and he kept driving and I went AHHHH and was UNHAPPY so I went back inside. I think that was fair.

I had to go see a doctor this morning to renew my prescription and it was a locum and he tried to tell me the basics about depression and I just, y'know, pretended to agree in order to get out of there as fast as possible.

New 'puter! Yayz!

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