A hot and sticky week (30.2020)

The weather this week has been all over the place. Hot, sunny, cool, rainy, sometimes all of these within one hour. So it’s been hard to know how to dress and how to feel. Do I have a fever? No, it’s just humid. Do I have a chill? No, it’s just raining and windy now. The capricious weather is reflected in my capricious mood swings this week.

This week’s food moods:

Gluttony. We went for a BBQ with friends on Sunday. They put out a big range of snacks before the grilled meat was ready and I snacked up big. I love snacks. I snacked a lot. Then the BBQ was ready and I struggled to eat, I was already full on snacks. Why do I always do this? And then there were two cakes for dessert. I had to have some of both. Actually I didn’t have to but I did it anyway. Then I have a rubbish night’s sleep because I’ve eaten too much.

Guilt. On Wednesday we had steak. We don’t eat steak often. I used to see it as a treat but quite often when I have it now I feel a creeping sense of guilt. Especially on days when I’m not feeling particularly bouncy or resilient. And on Wednesday I wasn’t in my highest mood. And it was a T-bone steak so it had a great big bone in the middle so it was obvious you were eating an animal. I had a guilt feeling like I killed the beast myself. (Be quiet you vegans – it’s you who have done this to me).

Unhealthy. We didn’t score highly on vegetable consumption this week. I know I feel better when I eat vegetables. But some weeks we just don’t get organised and then it’s low-veg meal after low-veg meal and I wonder why my mood is spiralling downwards.

This week’s mental state: Poor

A poor night’s sleep on Sunday night meant my concentration was shot at work on Monday. I got through the day but was tired to the point of feeling ill. On Wednesday I felt that creeping grey feeling behind my eyes that hints a depressive wave is coming in. This story about the man who tattooed his dog was my stop the world moment for the day. On Thursday I had a long, long day of calls one after another from 11am to 5pm (I did manage to take a break of 15 minutes to get food and get to the bathroom in that time) but when I signed off at 6pm I was exhausted and full of headaches.

Thankfully my mood did improve on Friday – perhaps due to taking paracetamol for my headaches, perhaps due to being closer to the weekend.

This week’s exercise: Couch to 5K week 4. I ran on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. Is it getting easier? Hard to say. This week was alternating runs of 3 and 5 minutes. Three minutes is easy, five minutes is more challenging but I’m getting there. I don’t usually run on Saturday so I was able to observe some different park activities, like the Tai Chi class on top of the mound near the skate park.

This week’s travel plans:

Belgium. On Tuesday night we sat and planned a trip to Hasselt in the Limburg province of Belgium near the Dutch border. We worked out where to stay and how to get around and what to see. We even found a few ‘brown cafes’ that looked to be promising on our never ending quest to find new beers. And then, because the internet is helpful like this, we got some news headlines showing up relevant to what we’d just been searching for. And the headlines told us Covid infection rates are on the increase in Belgium. So those trip plans may be on hold for now.

The Coast. I basically did a search for hotels with availability on my planned holiday dates, switched to map view and scoured the coast of England and Wales to see what was available near the sea. I didn’t care which sea, because I didn’t need to be swimming, I just needed to see the sea. I found some hotels in places I’d never heard of but nothing quite appealed enough to book.

Scotland. Another day, another idea. Take the Caledonian Sleeper to Inverness and then keep on going to any points north. Ooh look! There’s a hotel in Ullapool that has availability! Basically – get as far away from London as I possibly can. The Caledonian Sleeper is not cheap though but I do want to take it one day. But probably not any day soon.

Sheffield and surrounds. Back to this idea again. Still the north but not quite so far north as Scotland. Assuming there are things open, Sheffield has some sites to entertain, and we could also get some hotels in the dales outside Sheffield and do some hiking from there. This looks like the most likely of my ideas to stick but still needs some polishing to turn into a workable idea.

This week’s culture: Despite my horror screen day on Thursday I managed to watch Amadeus from the National Theatre streaming that night. A good performance with the buffoonish Mozart offset by the cruel Salieri. The play demonstrated how jealousy can eat you up. Although the play is not necessarily based in any kind of fact. There is no historical evidence that Salieri was so cruel, or that Mozart was so badly behaved and foolish.

This week’s Covid catch-up: From Friday, masks are now compulsory to be worn in shops in England. Welcome to bringing the country in line with the rest of the world! I now have to have a new ‘leaving the house’ routine. Once upon a time it was my travelcard I needed, now it’s my mask.

This week’s cheery news:

Police doing yoga in Bangladesh to help boost their immune systems and cope with stress.

Christ redeemer statue lit up in Brazil to thank the medical staff battling the virus.

I hope you found something this week to bring you some hope that humanity isn’t completely beyond hope.

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