raven: quadrangle of Christ Church, Oxford, under snow (stock - oxford)
So, you might have noticed the enormous snowstorm threatening to hit most of the eastern United States. Four inches or so overnight, with a foot and a half predicted for tomorrow. I really, really love my snow boots, I've said this before and I'm saying it again but oh my feet, they're warm. Of course, the university is dead macho, right unperturbed by climatic events, and will probably not close, despite the fact the bus services are sailing past the northern stops - they fill up well before they reach anywhere near campus, and sail past marked "Bus full", and besides the one I was trying to get on came within an inch of being hit by a snow plough going faster than it was - and there are cars rolling downhill, so maybe walking is the way to go. It took me about forty minutes this morning, but at least my feet are dry, thank you very much LL Bean. I have no idea what people who can't walk a couple of miles through a foot of snow are supposed to do.

The funny thing is, it's not actually cold to walk in, which is something. (Insulating effect of all that snow? I have no idea.) It's about minus five, minus six outside, which was okay to walk through if I kept moving, and I only landed on my arse once! Small things. I am now curled up in my carrel wondering whether I'll have to walk home, but at least I am somewhere safe and warm reading about the congressional budget process, and don't live driving distance off campus. Things could be much worse.

In other news, I have been back a bit more than a week, but it feels like forever; my new apartment, barring a slight incident involving WATER EVERYWHERE, is rather nice, touch wood; it's now two thirty and thus too late for me to get coffee in the law school. Expedition! Into the snow! Etc. Hope you are all surviving snowmageddon. I am looking forward to a rock 'n' roll evening of hot drinks and Deep Space Nine, if I ever do make it. And doing laundry. Hurrah.


Jan. 6th, 2011 03:32 pm
raven: red tulips in a vase on a balcony, against a background of a city (stock - tulips)
I am chatting idly with the South African Siren; she's telling me about the weather, and how she plans to be in NYC next week, and sends her love to Shim. She is sitting on a deckchair on a patio in Cape Town, in a swimming costume (it's forty degrees, and summer); and I am on the Edinburgh-London train at four in the afternoon, speeding past snow-covered hills lit pink with sunset from below. Remember what the future was going to be like? All shiny and full of promise? I think this is it.

I think you all may have noticed that I have been the world's champion in rubbish at answering emails, texts, phone calls, LJ comments, and have mostly been drifting in and out of radio contact. I do love you all, and am interested in your lives, promise. I think I didn't quite appreciate exactly what I did to my body during my last few weeks in Ithaca, though; at any rate, I am now sleeping till lunchtime, and feeling sleepy again at eight; eating three meals a day like it's going out of fashion; and, as I said, drifting. It's taken me a week to get through half a novel when I wasn't doing much of anything else (Perdido Street Station; I sort of liked it, and sort of didn't), and Shim and I have wandered around Edinburgh enjoying the (relative) warmth and done scarcely much. It's been nice, really nice, and to be honest I am expecting it to continue for a while yet.

Anyway. That is why I am hard to pin down at the moment. I am still here, just... a little translucent, perhaps. I love this journey; I love the beauty of it, and I love how I always take it during times of change. We talked a lot, while I was up here, and there have been good things.
raven: Geoffrey Tennant with his head in his hands (s&a - siiiiiiiiigh)
I keep writing scraps of things to post and then not posting them. Notes and queries:

1. It is now about ten days until I go home. I am still two exams and one 5000-word paper short of actually departing the country. I am also (probably) nursing the beginnings of a bad cold which is all my own fault, but, ouch. guess what I can't sleep )

On a slightly lighter note, my psychiatrist's name is Dr. McKenzie. In light of the SG-1 rewatch, I am finding this small fact impossibly entertaining.

(2. Also in light of the SG-1 rewatch, a random thought that occurred to me. You know what the internet needs? The internet needs fic about Claire Ballard. She's the definition of a minor character, yes, but consider the one detail we do know about her: she was a field archaeologist, publishing, working on digs, generally being awesome, with a very young child in tow, in 1965. Why has no one written omg-women-are-awesome fic about her? Why does the whole internet not cater to my whims?)

3. Exams start tomorrow (not for me, thankfully), and the law school is an interestingly fraught place to be at the moment. I thought I was immune thus far, and then I found myself getting obscenly, irrationally furious that one of the precious library carrels was being taken up by someone who wasn't a law student. (The law library is airy and beautiful and technically a public library, so it does get undergrads and people from other schools studying in it. But, you know, law school finals, tomorrow, be fair.)

"How'd you know they weren't a law student taking an outside class?" asked Shim later.

"Because," I said, through gritted teeth, "they were reading an LSAT prep book."

I stomped off downstairs to get some coffee and find somewhere else to study, and when I came out bearing a mug of awful vending machine coffee Tobermory yelled at me, poured it down the sink and got me real coffee from CTB. I think it's people's kindness that keeps me afloat. (Though I'm not doing reverb10, a lot of my friends are and I've been watching the prompts, and today's question asked about what kinds of community you've been part of in 2010. I wouldn't ever have believed it a few months ago, especially given previous experience, but the law school is a community, and one I'm happy to be part of: it's left-leaning, vaguely elitist, far from perfect, but has a quality of shared endeavour.)

4.. That, and birthday cake left over from a party I went to at the weekend (got drunk on pink champagne, I am so cool) and also "Little Wings" by Kris Delmhorst, which I've had on repeat the last couple of days. (artist's free download at link, try it, it's great).

5. It is cold like breaking. Have I mentioned that, recently? It is cold enough that you expect the air to shatter. Over the weekend I piled into a car with [personal profile] thingswithwings, [personal profile] eruthros and [personal profile] livrelibre and we went on a trip around the lake wine-tasting. (Which was fun! There were interesting whites and rieslings, rosés and sparkling wines, but the highlight was definitely a spirit tasting at the north end of the lake, where we were given honey vodka, mead and maple syrup liqueur by a kind chap with a tendency to dreadful puns. Maple syrup liqueur. I didn't buy any because it would be dangerous to have in the house.) My point is by the time we were driving back at the close of the day, I said something about how you could take a picture and caption it "desolation, a study" - the snow flurrying, the frosty intensity in the lake, the landscape just losing all depth, hazing into grey and white and back again. I'd never seen bleakness like it; I'd never seen anywhere with quite so much nowhere to go around. I mean, it has its own beauty, but it's not a simple kind.

In short: it's very cold. Hi.

6. I have vids stuck in my head. The constructed reality vid, but also apparently the internet hasn't any Sam-Carter-is-awesome vid to satisfy me, and now I keep.... pondering. T'wings assures me that vidding is not as scary as I think it is, but nevertheless, nevertheless I am skeered, because it is not like writing. Writing is... okay, for whatever reason, I don't have any issues about writing. It's something that happens. I feel like If I took up vidding, I would have to.... make things happen.

I am aware this makes no sense.

7. And now it's 1.30am, and I can't sleep and my meds aren't working, so I am putting bluebook citations in my attainder paper and moping. One week and four days until I go home.
raven: (firefly - kaylee)
So I had a truly dreadful week, but it ended well and I am happy. I got a solid ten hours' sleep last night, woke up to a beautiful autumn day - oh, beautiful; a solid dome of blue, horizon to horizon, trees blushed and gold, a hectic brilliance to everything - and went to the Tompkins County library booksale and bought seven novels for twenty-one dollars. And was there with friends who love books, moreover; I also got a copy of Good Omens and presented it to a chap I know would love it, and he grinned at me from beneath a mess of curls, the aftermath of a hard-cider lunch and that hectic brilliance of everything, and told me that I am amazing. Which I am, and which everything is.

(I love him, rather. In an entirely platonic way, but it's no less love. He has lived in Ireland, and India, and is full of life and interesting factoids and gives me the comforting sense that here is someone who thinks like I do on most things. He describes himself as "a brown Jewish amicable know-it-all".

"Like Jesus," I said, with far too much glee.)

Other things! Well, tonight I am being a social person and spending an evening with actual people, and yesterday I bought a pair of shoes, and they are entirely impractical leather heels and I love them. And tomorrow I am flying to see my aunt and uncle, and a week out of Ithaca with some of my family will be very nice indeed.

And, and. I don't know if I mentioned it, but on Thursday I had arranged to see one of my tutors about a topic for my research, and when I emailed I thought she would give me the location of her office and that would be that. Instead she suggested having lunch at a Korean place in town. I made slight gulpy noises and agreed. She's not one of the law faculty; most of my courses are cross-listed with the school of government, so she tends to treat me as though I were a grad student rather than a lawyer.

And it was really great! We talked around it all for a while, she turned out to know some of my tutors at Balliol, and then when we talked about what I wanted to write about, I asked her how focused I should make my eventual paper. Should I take a broad overview (which I hate), or should I do a rigorous look at a smaller point.

"You should do whatever you want," she said. "You'll pull it off, you're gifted."

I am happy! I keep wondering, you know, in the dimmer moments, what I'm doing here, if I really should be here, and I had reservations about taking a seminar that is mostly filled with political science PhD candidates, but I'm okay, I'm participating. And now I feel properly enthused about making a proper start on my research during fall break.

Onwards and upwards. Now to clean my apartment, which insists on festering at me, and then to the law school to print some things, and packing. Onwards and upwards.
raven: red tulips in a vase on a balcony, against a background of a city (stock - tulips)
Summer's here. It's twenty-seven degrees in Oxford, I am wearing my favourite light-as-air skirt and my favourite little top, there are no clouds in the sky. [livejournal.com profile] shimgray and I went for a lovely walk down by the Isis, and stopped in a picturesque pub just before Iffley Lock and drank cider, and lemonade with ginger, and watched the pleasure craft and geese pass by on the river. It's days like this when I wonder how I can even begin to be considering leaving this city, where I have been so happy, and where the world drifts to the water in May.

(But Ithaca has Cayuga Lake, and Cambridge, the Cam - so we shall see.)

The forecast is set to stay good, and I have been contemplatively looking at sundresses on eBay. It is worth noting, before I am mocked by Americans and other aliens, that summer in England is not an annual event; that our enjoyment of every hot summer day is plagued with fear that it will be the last beautiful day, not merely of the season but of one's life, and so shedding clothes and grabbing at picnic baskets is the only reasonable response.

So there has been capering in the sun today, and now it's evening and still bright and the air has a half-baked quality, as though it's been trapped within the walls all day; which, I suppose, it has - my benchmark for heat is India, and while India is a great deal hotter (forty-seven degrees, today!), the buildings are made so heat reflects briefly in and then firmly out, and there are ceiling fans, and air-conditioning units, and occasionally fridges that I wish to live in. (And power cuts. Fridges stay cool a surprisingly long time even after the power has failed.) But in India you don't get quite this much airlessness, because the heat here is being held in by double-glazing and beds with thick covers.

But I still love it. Forty-seven degrees makes me into the proverbial wilting flower, but heat like this, gentle, with appreciative breezes, with brand new red sandals and brand new red toenail polish, with that kind of deep ease in it, it's lightening. It makes me feel very comfortable in skin. And speaking of India. In July 2007, I went on yatra (pilgrimage, sort of) to Vaishno Devi, which is some distance from Jammu, and it was an experience. At the actual point of pilgrimage, at Bhawan, there were crowds and crowds of people and we were hustled quickly through - it was the peak season - and my mother has said, ever since, that she missed it. I've tried to argue that it was about the journey - the 15 km up and then down again - and not so much the destination, which she does concede to some extent, but I think she feels that the moment passed her by. And put that way I understand it; doing a yatra isn't procedural, it is about faith, and you can't speak for someone else about that. If she feels she missed it, she missed it.

So we're planning to do it again. This time, though, a lot of things will be different. A smaller party - we numbered in the low millions last time - and in December, rather than the baking heat and monsoon, we'll have snow. And also, [livejournal.com profile] shimgray is coming with us, which my mother suggested; which for me brings a quiet measure of a calm, a quiet reassurance that things are ticking over as they ought. (I've never known if my parents think my relationship is not a problem, or not a problem yet; it's a mystery to them as well, I suspect. Don't I blaze trails, on my quiet way through life.) And I am looking forward to this so, so much - this is supposed to be a year of change, a year balanced on the cusp of newness - and that it ends in a place I've been before, in a new skin, is something that feels right to me.
raven: (misc - winter)
Well, that was a truly bizarre evening. [livejournal.com profile] hathy_col and I left the centre of Preston at 10pm. The idea was for us to take half an hour getting into Ormskirk, where rather than subject Colleen and her car to the rural roads, I'd get on a train home, which would be laborious (it goes round the houses) but warm and safe for all of us.

Cut to the M58, after dark. Picture this like a film, one of those Richard Curtis confections about being home for Christmas - you're driving along in the dim lights, listening to Amanda Palmer, or at least Colleen is driving and I'm making unhelpful cracks about how at least we haven't been hit by an iceberg yet, small blessings, etc, and then the snow comes down and suddenly we're somewhere else entirely. I've never seen snow like this in England, never. It came down in enormous blizzard flakes, driving into the windscreen, layering on the embankment and the verges, encroaching inwards until suddenly you couldn't see the hard shoulder, and then you couldn't see the right-hand lane, and then the traffic was in single file, other than the bastard four by fours who think they're not risking everyone's neck by overtaking, and the snow began to creep.

We made it into Ormskirk slooooooowly, and then I couldn't persuade my father not to come and rescue me from there. I said I'd get a taxi; he raised the very good point that there isn't a taxi firm in existence that would come out tonight; I said I'd stay the night, and then realised of course that since the bastards stole my handbag last month I don't have keys to my parents' house any more. Lord, is there anything more embarrassing then being rescued by your parents your first night at home for four months? But desperate times, etc., and actually when my father appeared he seemed to be quite enjoying the adventure. And all the way, there was the blessing of the gorgeous Christmas card look to everything. For the benefit of my American and Canadian friends who are going "snow, what of it" round about now, I was born in Liverpool, a place known for salty air and seawater and not, shall we say, rural snowy idyll. In other words, it has never snowed - properly, I mean, not dissolving-on-contact-with-tarmac snow - where I grew up since I was a very tiny person indeed. (The internet suggests that 1990 was a snowy year - I do remember it, vaguely.) And suddenly there's all these familiar places, these places which I know so well, suddenly unfamiliar - suddenly as though we're in another place altogether. Colleen and I wandered down the road and looked at perfect snowy firs and electrical wires marked out with snow against the sky and lovely virgin snow we could crunch over, and the light was reflecting over and over off it unti there was a sort of two am lividity to everything, and I was charmed.

All things considered, it could have been a lot worse; for one thing, Colleen and I got home without incident, and yesterday I made it home from Edinburgh on the main line trains without major incident - I was a little late, but nothing serious at all. I'm impressed with the train companies this week, I must say; first the East Coast line, then the western route, and the local trains are all running.

At this point one might be moved to ask why I was in Preston tonight anyway. IANTO PANTO ) On the whole, it was a very strange evening, but I think I liked it.

Tomorrow, it is Christmas Eve and there's four inches of snow in the garden. I think I may make a snowman.
raven: image of white Macbook computer with raven perching on it (misc - raven writes)
Mostly, today has been Novemberish. Notes and queries:

1. It's November 5th, and I am slightly wistful on this account; I am very tempted to buy sparklers and run around writing rude words in the air, but possibly this would like slightly silly just on my own. I do have a proper bonfire and fireworks to go to at the weekend, but waaah, don't want to sit in on my own tonight, want fireworks. Also a pony and a job, shut up self. I really ought to get down to work in a moment.

2. Signing up for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide from SCHOOL! That was a genius idea. And then I could sign up in Firefox 3.5 and not break all my add-ons.

Of course, it would have been more of a genius idea had I not a) not thought of it, and broken all my add-ons; and b) buggered up my sign-up twice running anyway. It's not like I'm offering thirty fandoms or something, I'm offering five and this year they come with handy tickboxes. Sigh.

(One thing that always makes me surprisingly happy is that according to the participants list, I am the only person in these parts of fandom writing under "Raven" or a variant, despite ff.net having appended "25" to mine when they outlawed non-unique usernames. It sounds silly, but I have written approximately 300,000 words of fanfiction over eight years under that name, and it's important to me now.)[1]

3. Sitting up on Headington Hill while drafting Baby's First Deed of Transfer, I had a very good view of the sunset. I reckon it was too dark to read outside by 4.10pm. Am I the only person who forgets, every year, that this happens? That it's not something you read about in books, it actually is only going to be light for six hours and you're going to spend all of those in school. It was a depressing realisation when there is still almost six months of winter to go. To be fair there are things about winter I love - sharp cold, woodsmoke, the sense of things coming - there is still an aura of decrepit Novemberishness about the place today.

4. On a slightly sillier note, Google have discovered a town that isn't there. On the whole, I think towns that aren't there are very interesting. Pripyiat is a town in Ukraine that isn't there, and Centralia is a town in Pennsylvania that isn't. They are both fascinating places.

However, [livejournal.com profile] hathy_col and I have driven through that field. Mostly, we have driven through it at seventy miles an hour singing. The not-thereness of the place can hardly be over-emphasised. I am vaguely impresed.

5. Other interesting thing from today's news: increasing numbers of people who aren't vegetarian, but eat very little meat. The article isn't very profound, but I have always wondered why this is never talked about - talk about vegetarianism in the media always seems to be framed by this odd (possibly Western?) model that people who eat meat are carnivores and people who don't are vegetarians, and there is no continuum between the two, and no complex reasons for why people eat what they eat, or anything.

There is no number six. I need coffee, and I need sleep, but I only get to have one of those. Into the breach again, I s'pose.

[1] Admittedly I do exclude the possibility that the name is not used because I have taken it.

Swine flu

Oct. 13th, 2009 09:36 pm
raven: sign, flower drawing and text: "war is not healthy for children and other living things" (politics - war is not healthy)
Urgh. I am dreading the 9am start tomorrow more than, well, just about anything. One might say, then, go to bed, but being the sort of person who doesn't sleep at night means, hey, you get wound up about not sleeping at night, and then you don't sleep at night. Sigh.

It does, however, beat swine flu, which is nowhere near as fun as advertised. I am about ten days post-diagnosis now, and feeling every day like some large wheeled vehicle hit me the night before. (It gets smaller. It was a truck. Now it's an articulated pram.) And, really, it was no fun at all. I cannot emphasise this enough, but I am blessed with an immune system that is usually pretty sound, and my notion of "ill" is "a bit off, and you can still watch TV". I started revising this opinion on Friday night, when all I could do was shiver, and then a little further on Saturday when all I could do was shiver and wail about the opening chasms in my head, and then, on Saturday night, round about where the "mild case of symptoms" I was supposed to be having, being an able-bodied adult, was supposed to be kicking in, I woke up in the midst of vague dreams about sushi on picnics with my entire extended family, and thought: aha, I need to go somewhere.

And woke up again, some minutes later, because Shim was picking me up off the floor, and noticed from very far away that his pupils were so dilated that his eyes had turned black as pitch in his face, and then thought: isn't it funny, that's the last thing I'm going to think before I die, and then I probably passed out again. Apparently, This Is Your Brain On Swine 'Flu has a turn towards the melodrama. Shim looked after me beautifully throughout,, but probably never so much as just then, and regardless of anything I never wish to faint on a hard wood floor again. After that things were never so bad, but I think I'd like to register a general complaint: I should have, at that point, started on anti-virals, given that at that point a) they were still effective and b) Shim and I don't live together. Technically, I live alone, and my own bathroom floor is harder than wooden. But as I was slightly conditioned to think, hi, I am an able-bodied adult, I sort of assumed that my case of flu was, indeed, mild.

...okay, now I realise it wasn't. After that I had all the symptoms of the flu, but consecutively, so I had dizzy-and-fainting and then splitting-headaches and then muscle aches and then, bizarrely, a sore throat and blocked nose. (Which were the worst; nothing like being told by all, including the out-of-hours GP, who has been persuaded to call and help only after much shouting down the phone by people who are not you, that you'll "pick up in a day or two, drink fluids" when you can't drink fluids, you can barely get anything past the back of your tongue. Urgh. Urgh, I say.)

Now, I am lots better, but am told by said GP that the general feeling of ennui will not pass very easily; that I should expect to feel tired and ill, especially in the evenings, for weeks yet. Which is not a thought that fills me with hope and good qualities, but it can't be helped. And much as I do complain about the NHS in my particular case, I would like to point out, for the record, in reference to some recent debates about US healthcare in particular: I was ill. I was too ill to function. The NHS helpline told me to stay in bed, drink fluids, and rest, and send someone out for antivirals. They told me not to panic, and that there would be plenty for everyone. (In their FAQs, they did not include "will I have to pay for them?", this presumably not having been asked frequently enough.) When I went to see my GP, he asked if I had an employer whom he could write to to explain why I would be off my work for a while. When I said no, he said not to be tempted to jump straight back into studying; rest, rest, and rest some more.

In short: I caught the flu. My government told me to rest, drink fluids, and take the drugs they gave me, and feel better before I went back to work. Why, those evil pinko commie bastards.

I have very little else to report. I read Unseen Academicals while I was ill, and while I liked it, I didn't like it quite as much as I wanted to. spoilers )

The grand Deep Space Nine watch continues; I just finished "Doctor Bashir, I Presume", and as well as getting episode-title-win points, it also spoilers ) Also, Alexander Siddig has lovely eyelashes.

Maybe I ought to go to bed. I know I ought to. Sigh.

edited to add: just as I clicked post - [livejournal.com profile] yuletide nominations are OPEN.

son of eta: Okay, guys, I want to nominate Connie Willis' novels for Yuletide again. Thing is, though, To Say Nothing of the Dog and Doomsday Book have been nommed as separate fandoms in the past, and that makes no sense to me. If you were nominating the two of them together, plus the novella, Firewatch (and, presumably, the 2010 novels will be included for the Yuletide after this one), what would you call the universe as a whole? I cannot think what the fandom is actually called.


Sep. 24th, 2009 05:26 pm
raven: Merlin lying on his back, looking up (merlin - upside-down)
In times of stress, I tend to... make a mess.

Today is my fourth day of school, and this is what my floor looks like )Admittedly, I have no idea what any of those bits of paper actually are. I suspect ring binders may be in my future.

Anyway, I don't know what I expected from the LPC, but mostly, it has neither surpassed nor fail to meet my non-existent expectations. Since Monday, I have been Going To Class, Doing Homework, sitting quietly and waiting for my name to be called, doing quiet group work, start over. It's a lot more tiring than it sounds; being out of the house nine to five is one thing, and having a lot of homework is another, but both together is really rather painful. I have discovered, however, a new fun sport: torturing careers advisers. We had one, very solemn, very practical, very worked-in-City, had wisdom to impart, wanted to know if we had any particular issues to talk about.

One girl raised her hand and said, "Global recession?"

"Ah," he said. "I don't think we should over-emphasise..."

"The Law Society says training contracts are so few that people shouldn't even bother with the LPC if it'll lead to debt," she went on.

"There's a hundred applications per place," said someone else.

"Most firms aren't recruiting."

"Our chances are slim to minimal."

"Recovery isn't happening."

"So do you have any advice?"

He blinked for a while. "Um, there was a recession in the mid-eighties, and, um. That improved. You shouldn't... er... write yourselves off."

"How about our debt?"

...and so on. Poor man; I suspect he probably knew that no one in the room had the sorts of problems that can be fixed by re-formatting your CV, but there's such a thing as a small victory.

Other than this, I have nothing in particular to say. There has been new Merlin this week, and also I have not been sleeping, and thus I have been lying in bed plotting a Merlin-and-Arthur accidentally swap bodies epic. Maybe not an epic. Maybe just some sniping and Merlin taking the opportunity to push Arthur into a lake. And then both of them being afraid to wash. And Gwen guessing immediately, and Uther having no idea, and a long philosophical discussion about whether magic rests in the body or in the mind while someone who looks a lot like Arthur turns very slow somersaults in mid-air.

Also, speaking of not sleeping, I have been medically-intervened. My GP, who is very nice, has finally listened to me telling him that no, warm milk does not help, and neither does CBT, help me I need help, etc. He has prescribed me a low dose of amitriptyline, a drug I am wary of for the not-unreasonable reason that last time I was prescribed it the doctor in question wanted me to stop cycling around Oxford. ("Because you might... fall into traffic.") But this time around the dose is much lower, and I hope for better things. Am keeping a sleep diary, something I have always meant to do. Better things.

...that's it, I think. [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong is coming to see me at the weekend, I have a lot of homework to do, it's still September. Still a murky mercurial September at that, one that swings between blunt splashes of cold in the mornings, and warm dusks; yesterday evening had that strange late-summer feeling of heat radiating from the earth, but nevertheless we are in that odd limbo of the last few years, somewhere between Eid and Diwali where no one knows what season it is. I do not approve of autumn, I think; I want hot, cleansing sun or snow. I also want a training contract, a hard-boiled egg and a pony. My life is very hard.

I should go and do some work.

(Oh, and! I keep meaning to mention this. After having a dormant account for a while, I am now using Twitter. (Don't worry; I don't plan to import my tweets.) If you would like to follow me, or would like me to follow you, or would like to tell me whom I should be following, please tell me about it. I'm singlecrow over there.)
raven: (xf - give that girl a gun)
As a number of people have asked: I'm all right, really. The night before last it wasn't so much that I couldn't sleep as I couldn't sit still; I wandered around the house feeling really rather insane, and then, at five o'clock in the morning, thought clearly, hell with this, and when it got light, started making arrangements to make the journey north.

As dramatic gestures go, it wasn't bad - I got out of Oxford all right, and somewhere near Leamington Spa, rang my father to tell him that, er, possibly, maybe, I might have adjusted my tickets and might, possibly, be home in a few hours. He was concerned. And then because he is secretly five, carefully didn't tell anyone about it. So at half past four, when I stepped softly through the front door, my mother shrieked, "My baby!" and jumped on me. Which was worth it, really. Within about five minutes she'd made me some coffee whilst simultaneously telling me I drink too much of it, and when did I last eat, do I ever, why didn't I tell anyone I was coming, etc. It was good to be back.

I am actually not entirely sure this was the best idea in the world - there are so many relatives visiting that I'm having to really fight for peace and quiet, and of all the assembled masses, only my father knows why I'm really here, in the sense that he knows I'm quite depressed, not that I've been diagnosed as such. My mother merely thinks that I meant to do this all along as a surprise, and I think telling anyone the truth would lead to a major family meltdown, so. So this isn't actually relaxing as such; I'm having to hide my pills and such. I tell everyone I have a lot of work to do, which is certainly no lie, so can hide behind textbooks when needed.

But there are compensations. The weather in this part of the world is doing something it often does at this time of year, and getting hectically, fiercely beautiful. I went out briefly earlier - before remembering that in small country villages, post offices close on Wednesday lunchtimes - and watched the seagulls wheeling up against powder blue. It's lovely. The family situation is one thing, but what isn't claustrophobic is of course the landscape, which never changes. It's worth this, at least, being here.

Also, it is worth being here for some of my relatives. My cousin Sunny, who is an easy-going Australian medic, is here for four weeks to do his elective and is making my life calmer by his mere presence. He is cool, calm, collected, and predictable in what makes him happy. "Today," he announced this morning, "I am going on pilgrimage."

"Anfield?" I asked, ever-so-slightly amused.

"Yes," he said dreamily, and I wrote down the bus routes for him, because, seriously, who am I to stand in the way of other people's religious experiences. Off he went, happily, at about lunchtime, leaving me to the soft afternoon and the study of the criminal law.

So, yeah. I'm... not okay, but I'm still here. Some things - the small, everyday happy things, like my mother buying me a cupcake, or [livejournal.com profile] jacinthsong ringing me up to be appalling, or being in the vicinity when a life-long Liverpool FC supporter is asked by a well-meaning relative if it's Goodison Park he's going to today, and has to be led to a chair and given a glass of water - are making me smile, and feel good, or at least okay, and then it reverts, and I'd rather go and hide and shiver in a bath. But, well. There is a bath, at least, to hide in.

Tomorrow, if I feel up to it, I am going in to Liverpool to find the post office, get my Macbook fixed and possibly have lunch with [livejournal.com profile] forthwritten; at the weekend, [livejournal.com profile] shimgray is coming up, which will be very good for my mental health and catastrophically bad for his. And on Sunday, I return. I will go and get my head looked at by the medical profession on Monday.

So... yes. Still here.

October 2017

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