Monday, 30 May 2016

Happy Mondays #19


My, what a glorious first week of freedom it's been. It feels so long ago already that I was spending ten hours a day revising, and trudging into sweaty exam rooms with that horrible, yellow lighting that makes your eyes want to descend back into your face. I was worried that the end of uni would be this weird, anti-climactic experience whereby I was free to do whatever I wanted but actually I didn't really know what that was, and how to fill all the hours in my day. Whilst some mornings have felt like that, where I've been eating my Weetabix, watching Jeremy Kyle, wondering what I'm doing with my life, the large majority of my week has been really fun, catching up with life and getting in some much needed rest. 

It's hard to narrow down all the lovely things that have made me happy this week...!

1. Visiting Matt in Reading 
In my mind, my brother is still about 6 years old...just taller and hungrier. So going to visit him at uni where he kind of adults and fends for himself was a bit of an odd experience. I mean, his cupboards are literally just bread, pasta and risotto rice and his fridge seemed to be an eclectic mix of onions, yoghurt and Innocent smoothie; he's not emptied his recycling bin all year; he doesn't know what a non-fitted sheet is, and his room is full of biscuits - so it's like kind of teen boy meets grown man allowed to live by himself. ANYWAY. It was really fun. We went for a lovely meal at Bill's (where the waitress defs thought we were a couple, awks) and had a little wander round Reading. He showed me round his uni campus, which is pretty rad and even has a GIANT LAKE in the middle of it. Apart from that, we just chilled and had a massive catch up, and it was nice just to hang out with him for a couple of days. I'm looking forward to going back, seeing his new house next year and getting involved in HOUSE PARTY CENTRAL...whilst also making sure he eats fruit & veg and changes his bed sheets occasionally. 

2. Tea & catch ups with Amy 
Turns out that your last couple of terms of final year are really anti-social because everyone's so stressed and busy all the time. So, when exams are finally over, and everyone's still in London furiously trying to find/work more hours at a part-time job, you have the chance to catch up with all the people you've exchanged little more than a wave and a "how's your revision going?" for a couple of months. Amy and I headed to Yumchaa on Tottenham Court Road, grabbed a cup of tea (I had lemon sherbet tea and it was so great) and headed to sit out in the sun. It was so lovely to catch up, and chat with someone who's as confused about life and the future and how I'm ever going to get a job I enjoy as you...even if done so whilst watching a old lady feed seeds to pigeons perching literally all over her. 

3. Date night
Simon and I made a deal that we would take it in turns to arrange date nights, both so we make sure that we book them in, and to astound each other with our romantic and creative energies. I said I'd go first (basically because I already idea) and booked for us to go for drinks at the Sky Garden before going for a tasty Greek meal. The Sky Garden was so cool. We grabbed a drink at the, surprisingly, not too overpriced bar (for Central London) and began our little tour of the Sky Garden, made even more enjoyable by a great in-house band. The views are amazing and you can see for so far - I just wish I knew what all the buildings were! Before we left, we went out onto the balcony to enjoy the views a little better, and get a couple of pictures taken by the most lovely security guard (who literally did a photoshoot...!) Our hour time slot was up, so we headed on to The Hungry Donkey near Aldgate for some epically tasty Greek food. It definitely delivered, and we both left very full and very satisfied. If you're ever in the city/East and in search of a delicious and great value Greek meal, The Hungry Donkey is a must go!

4. Bank Holiday fun 
Last bank holiday I was revising, and this one I'm not, so that's something to be pretty excited about in itself. This was the first full weekend Simon and I have spent together in aaaages, free of boring life stuff and revision and prior engagements, so that was pretty exciting in itself too. But what made it ALL THE MORE EXCITING was date night plans, mooching in London plans, cooking plans, and a variety of other plans which we didn't actually have time to squeeze in. Saturday was a lazy morning, followed by a day of productivity and sun, and a date night of dreams (views and foods). Sunday was an early morning, a day in Central, mooching and coffee shops, and a walk back to Victoria from Soho...before collapsing in bed and watching movies. And Monday, today, was disappointingly grey but much needed sleepy day. Our initial plans to go and visit the British Wildlife Centre didn't quite come to fruition, and instead was a day of PlayStation, trip planning, mass meal making and chilling hard. I wish every weekend was a three day weekend! 

Enjoy the last couple of hours of your Bank Holiday Monday...and it's only a 4 day week!
Happy Monday! X
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Friday, 27 May 2016

National M.E. Awareness Month

Today is National Cellophane Day, National Grape Ice Lolly Day, and National Heat Awareness Day. But whilst you're wrapping things up in cellophane, eating ice lollies and being hyper aware of the heat, take a minute to remember that it's M.E. Awareness Month. It is designed to educate and publicise the illness, and lobby on behalf of sufferers for increased public funding for research and treatment opportunities. The #MillionsMissing campaign has proven a powerful representation of the millions of sufferers worldwide, missing from their 'normal' lives - in schools, universities, workplaces, and social lives. The London protest took place at the beginning of the week, where the millions missing were represented with pairs of shoes, missing their owners, outside the Department of Health. 

M.E. currently affects 250,000 people in the UK. I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs of the illness, because I'm not a medic, the experiences and symptoms vary from person to person, and there is actually relatively little understanding of the illness within medical fields. M.E. is characterised, most generally, by chronic fatigue: it's not just a feeling of being sleepy, of not wanting to get out of bed, but total, overwhelming exhaustion from doing the most menial of tasks, like getting up and having a shower. It varies hugely in its severity, whereby some sufferers can continue with their schooling or work, but need evenings and weekends to rest; in the most severe cases, sufferers may be bed-ridden, unable to do even the simplest tasks by themselves, and suffer painful and prolonged effects if they try to exceed their capabilities. There is no cure for M.E., and whilst sufferers may not feel the effects of the illness for their entire lives, they are only ever in remission, never cured. 

My journey with M.E. began when I was 11. A particularly nasty bout of food poisoning was the trigger, and I just couldn't seem to shake the symptoms off. I felt exhausted and sick all the time; at its worst, the only things I could stomach were gingernut biscuits and sausage rolls, and only really moved between my bed and the sofa. I was prescribed anti-nausea and antacid pills from the GP which made me feel even worse, and it was only because of my mum constantly pushing the GPs for tests and referrals, and finally paying to have it done privately, that I was able to get a diagnosis. I felt like I was being tested for everything under the sun: blood tests and ultrasound scans, terrified about what could be wrong with me. I remember sitting in a room with a paediatrician who said they were going to test for Leukaemia - suddenly, the non-diagnosis seemed better than the potential one. Thankfully, all my tests came back clear. There was absolutely no 'medical' reason why I should be feeling the way I was - so M.E. became the diagnosis. In retrospect, being diagnosed with an illness, and then being told that there's no treatment and no cure, should be really soul-destroying but, at this point, aged 11, I was so relieved that it wasn't cancer that anything seemed better. The next few months are a blur. I had a routine whereby I had to be in bed by 10 every night, even though I couldn't sleep, and I would wake up by 10. I don't really remember what I did in the day. I think I watched a lot of tv and played The Sims. Things really started to turn around when I began to regularly see a homeopath: it was a space to talk to someone completely neutral, and the things she was giving me seemed to be working. I can't explain how or why, but they just did. In the spring/summer term, I started receiving home tutoring and started going into school occasionally. By the beginning of my year 8, I was back in school full-time, feeling back to normal. 

So, after 4 years of feeling fine and healthy, you can imagine my total fear and disappointment when my symptoms began to return under the stress and pressure of A Levels. But this time I knew what it was, and I knew what I had to do. The decision to drop out of sixth form, where all your friends are, to spend the remainder of the year recovering and start again the following year felt like a big but a necessary one. I was never as ill as I had been before, managing to go into school sometimes to see my friends and going out occasionally at the weekends. It was about totally calming down, taking off the pressure and pacing myself. The real life saver however was a treatment programme called The Lightning Process, which basically tries to reset the connection between the brain and the body. It's about reminding the brain that it's not ill, and to stop telling the body that it is. I walked into that programme a recovering, but unwell girl and walked out, 3 days later, feeling like a new woman. However, when I had this treatment, it wasn't available on the NHS and it wasn't cheap - it's incredible, but it's not accessible for everyone. In the last few years I've had, what I think of as, the 'warning symptoms' - nausea, loss of appetite, tiredness I can't shake off and insomnia - but I feel like I know them now, and I know how to manage them, and I'm able to do something about it before I enter full-on, debilitating M.E. pit of despair. 

I'm aware that this illness is always lurking somewhere, and feel very lucky that it's just lurking. I stumbled across this article a couple of weeks ago, and it's the best description I've ever read of chronic illness (please give it a read!) Even today, 5 years in remission (2nd time round!), some mornings I wake up feeling like I've got one or two fewer spoons. I need more sleep than lots of people, and my immune system isn't wonderful. But, I've just completed my degree, I'm able to go out and do the things I want to do, and I don't have to be too careful. I just have to be aware - and take a step back, a 'me' day when I need it, and learn how to forget about the pressures of everyday life. I am one of the lucky ones: I'm not 'missing' any more, but there are so many that are. The developments in research into the illness seem to be so slow, and there's still very little treatment - particularly that which is available on the NHS. This month is about raising awareness for the millions that still are missing, and lobbying for more investment into research to bring these people back and give them the lives they used to have, and the lives they deserve.
 
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Monday, 23 May 2016

Happy Mondays #18


Big week. Such a big week. I am an incredible combination of exhausted, relieved and totally overjoyed. Monday began with an exam, and Friday finished with one...and that was it. The end. A big, sleepy whirlwind week. So even though a large part of last week was spent frantically cramming for my final exam on Friday, that's not really the bit I remember, because it finished so spectacularly, with so much to be happy about and thankful for. 

The things that have made me happy this week...

1. Finishing university
As cliché as it sounds, my university experience has quite literally been a rollercoaster ride. There have been bits of it that I've really enjoyed, and bits of it that have made me want to drop out right that second. It's been frustrating, and confusing, and overwhelming but I leave with a real sense of achievement. I walked out of my last exam feeling proud: that I hadn't given up, that I'd always worked hard even when I hated it and I didn't want to, that I'd met lots of lovely people, I'd tried new things, and that I am leaving a more thoughtful person with a whole new bank of fun facts and a better writing style. I spent such a large part of my second year wishing university was over, and such a large part of my third year wishing that the other years had been like this. My final year was hard, but it was challenging and busy and (mostly) interesting. I definitely don't miss it (yet), but maybe one day I will. If nothing else I will miss the friends I made, and the elite collection of awesome lecturers that made my university experience. 

2. UCLGeog party 2k16 
There was a lot of prosecco, a lot of cheese and a lot of geographers. And even though I don't really like prosecco, and I can't eat cheese, I love a geographer. It was so nice to get (nearly) everyone in a room together and celebrate the end of our degrees. It was nice to have a chance to chat to lecturers outside of the 'academic' setting, and share a beverage...or a handful of Fruitella. There were people I hadn't seen since my first year, because we'd taken different modules, who I'd totally forgotten about; people I've still never spoke to and still don't know their names; and the people who I've really gone through the last 3 years with. It's scary to think that the next time I may see some of these people will be at graduation, and some I may never see again. End of an era.  

3. Day of fun with my mum
Nothing says end of exams/end of uni like a celebratory trip to Bluewater, does it? An early morning, a power round the shops and finished off with a nice meal was the perfect end to the weekend. I am now the proud owner of a swish new suit for the job I am avoiding getting, and a lovely pair of heels. I am well prepared for my holiday, and in possession of some jazzy new pants. I obviously still came home and did an ASOS shop for the bits I couldn't get in the shop though. My mum enjoyed her first Krispy Kreme experience, astounded by the prospect of a lemon meringue doughnut and I made friends with the over-attentive waiter. All in all, a fabulous day...but I won't be able to afford another one for quite some time. 

4. Bae
When you're having a cup of tea with your Nan on a Monday afternoon and there's a knock at the door and a beautiful bouquet of roses, you know you're having a great day and you're a super lucky girl. I feel like my finishing uni is probably more of a relief for Simon than it is for me: no longer do you have to listen to me whine about it, proofread my essays, listen to my fun facts, and look after me when I feel like I just can't hack it any more. Thanks for seeing me all the way through it, and being the constant support, keeping me going and keeping me sane. 

Have a lovely week. X
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Happy Mondays (and Tuesdays) #17


Ok, so exams make me confused about what day it is. But hey, who can't have Monday's appreciativeness on a Tuesday? The first thing I thought when I woke up yesterday morning was "this is my last week of being a student". Come 1pm on Friday, I will be walking out of Brixton Leisure Centre a totally free woman, and if that isn't something to be happy about, I don't know what is. The last couple of weeks feel like they've been the longest of my life. It is quite unbelievable how long a day feels when it's spent reading about Nigerians who have been murdered for oil, and women who have basically no rights to anything. Depressing, huh? But alas that is Geography, well, alas that is the world. It has not been an exciting week in the world of Laura by any stretch of the imagination - days of revision broken only by actually going to the exams. So, as I say goodbye to a fairly arduous week, and crawl into my last week of finals, I have a lot of (anticipatory) things to be happy about. 

1. I had an exam that actually went well
It would be extreme to say that my first exam was a train wreck, but it wasn't great. You know when it's the first exam, and you're a bit out of the swing of things, and you are so nervous you feel like you're going to vom on the train on the way there and, when you start writing, you realise that what you're saying just isn't that great but hope it'll be fine. That was kind of it. It was probably decent enough but it was far from spectacular. So I was praying that my second exam would be an improvement: it was my favourite module by far, and I wanted to do well in it. The questions I wanted came up, I remembered my references and, despite being stuck in the most horrible sweaty hall for two hours, I left feeling relieved and satisfied that I'd done a pretty alright job with that one. Yesterday's wasn't the total fail I had worried it would be as well. Woohoo! Only one more to gooooo!

2. I joined the iPhone club
I said I wasn't going to get an iPhone, and then my phone broke, and I just did. That's basically the story. I loved my little phone, but now I can't hear anyone talk when they ring me and I receive texts several hours/days after they're sent, and that's actually just not practical. So time it was to invest in the new iPhone SE. My god does it feel tiny, but my god does it also fit well in my pocket. I'm still getting to grips with it and don't really know how to use it, but it means I can spend all my procrastination time this week fiddling about with it. It blows my mind how amazing the camera is, and I can't wait to take it to South Africa and return with loads of cool pictures of elephants and lions and ANIMAL SELFIES. 

3. I am making SO MANY post-exam plans
One of the suckiest things about exams is the guilt that comes with them. The feeling that you don't want to revise, but that every time you do something else, you feel hopelessly guilty, so you might as well just revise. That has been my life for a good couple of months now, and I am so bored of it. Therefore, I basically have plans every single day until I go to South Africa and I can't wait to do it all guilt-free. I've got a Book Spa in Bath to look forward to, visiting my brother at uni, a holiday with my best pal, a trip to Cambridge - all in amongst catching up with friends I've not seen for months/years, visiting my Nan, date nights, shopping trips, completing my 10 things to celebrate the end of exams list, and just having the freedom to get up in the morning and be able to do whatever I want. I wish I could do this forever and never get a job #adulthood

4. Sunny Sundays 
Don't you hate that feeling when you get to the end of the weekend and feel like you never really had a weekend? That's exam season life for you right there. Last weekend, my actual weekendness probably lasted from about 2-5pm and 8-11pm on Sunday. The rest was spent staring aimlessly at my revision notes, wondering why these facts/names/places/dates won't go in, and stay in, my head. However, the 3 hours spent in nice cafes and on Peckham Rye Common on Sunday made a good attempt at making up for it. There's nothing that puts you in a good mood quite like a sunny day, and sitting in the park surrounded by people with Kettle Chips and cider (and wondering why you haven't got Kettle Chips and cider) is a pretty nice, relaxing place to be. I am begging for thousands of sunny, post-exam Sundays when park trips do not have to be marked with revision either side. 

I hope you had the happiest of Mondays,
and wish you the happiest of Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays...you know. X
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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dreamin'

I sometimes have really excellent dreams, like really imaginative and crazy and I can't believe my head has created them. I also have some really mundane dreams, like the one where I felt like I spent my whole night's sleep making gravy...in my head. When I wake up and remember a good dream, I always try and write it down to share with whoever is first on my most recent WhatsApp contacts, and now with you. Here are some truly wonderful, confusing and bizarre dreams from the last few weeks: 



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
I'm in a pool bar. I've never actually been to a pool bar before. I'm with a group of people, a weird mix, who don't know each other in real life but seem the closest of friends in this dream. Naturally, we're playing pool, but every time it gets to my turn, and I go to hit the ball, it transforms into a doughnut and sluggishly bounces across the felt. This only happens to me, and no one else seems to be shocked or surprised about it. I KNOW, I thought, I'll venture to the Sainsbury's on Tottenham Court Road and buy some tennis balls, which I'll put in place of the pool balls. They turn into doughnuts too. Then I woke up. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

There's a girl living with us, but I've never seen her before. She's chopping something in the kitchen, and cuts her finger. My mum and I take her to A&E. Turns out the cut is more serious than anticipated, and she needs to have her whole torso amputated. They attach her head to her pelvis.  She is literally a head on legs. Then I woke up. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Simon and I were planning to host a party - a garden party, you know, bunting, a barbecue, all the trimmings. There was an emergency (I can't remember what it was) and I had to go away for the 2 days before the party, and put Simon in charge of catering. When I returned, making my entrance to the party, I discovered that Simon had only provided potato salad. But a lot of it. A whole table full of bowls, of a variety of sizes, of potato salad. I was distraught. Then I woke up. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I half woke up in the middle of the night. It was dark, and I swore I could see a hologram of Chris Martin's face hovering in above the pile of clothes on my bedroom floor. I have no strong feelings about Chris Martin, so I turned over and went back to sleep. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Toni Morrison (my hero forever) made a late entry to the American Presidential elections and, obviously, smashed it. First black FEMALE president, yes please. Then I woke up...and remembered Trump. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I was at uni and it was dissertation results day (this doesn't exist) and I opened up my envelope to discover I'd got a third in my dissertation. I was distraught and when to see my supervisor to ask him what the deal was, I thought this was pretty decent. He revealed that he was an avid Tinder/dating apps user and wholly disapproved of my conclusions, which had ruined his dream of meeting a partner online. This critique of his dating method, and the suggestion that it probably wouldn't lead to anything that durable unless 'real life' dating was properly employed, was just too much for him and I'd received a third based on distress, disappointment and self-hatred. Then I woke up. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

It's July, I'm in South Africa, having a whale of a time digging holes and playing with elephants. I've been here for a little while, and feel truly settled in, not homesick at all. It's just really great. The WiFi is patchy, and I'm pretty busy, so I don't worry about checking my phone too often - but one evening I do. And what am I greeted with? Simon and all his new ladyfriends. I'm talking #sexselfies, elaborate stories, and thousands of women. All I can think is who are these bitchez and why are they on my side of the bed? My response? I send some pictures of elephants. Then I woke up (and actually angry texted Simon who told me it was his evil dream alter-ego, 'Simey', lol). 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
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Monday, 9 May 2016

Happy Mondays #16


It's been a big week for Laura. I thought the worst thing that was going to happen last week was my first, and worst, exam. It wasn't actually that bad. But what was bad was dropping a whole cup of tea over my leg the following day, and spending every day since hobbling, at A&E, trying to stop it weeping out of bandages, speaking to the most incompetent GP surgery in the entire world, and sourcing some crutches. Big week, huh? So although I can't walk good, or shower, and I have to deal with bare legs beyond the heatwave weekend and into the cold, rainy week, I've actually done some really nice things this week. Hobbling or otherwise. 

1. Ed's birthday barbecue 
If there's one thing I love it's a barbecue/garden party/outdoor affair in the actual sun. And my god did we make the most of it. Having friends with a rad house with a big garden is one thing, but when they're also down the road from a big rounders (and kite)-friendly park, have a big ol' barbecue, put on a smashing party spread AND you're able to source a paddling pool, it's beyond your average summery awesomeness. I've got a watch tan line, I've probably got a leg bandage tan line, and I got to spend a whole day hanging out with the best people drinking beers, eating steak and forgetting that I have 3 exams in the next 2 weeks. I think that's the dream. Plus, I can still smell a lingering scent of sun cream, which I'm convinced must be in my hair somewhere, but it's making me feel like holidays are impending and that it the best. 

2. Dinner with my buds 
A well-overdue catch up with Corey & Fred this week was a definite mid-week (pre-burn) highlight. Despite having gone a good 3 or 4 years without seeing them until last summer, I'm now craving our regular catch-ups and feeling like I'm at a loss with their lives (and Corey's love interests) if I go more than a month or so without seeing them. I was also pretty psyched to try out Zizzi's new(ish) vegan pizza. It wasn't great. I won't be getting it again. But even that sad pizza did not put a downer on our evening, and I'm psyched to get the whole crew back together and reunited in the summer. 

3. A quarter of the way through exams
Exams are, hands down, one of my least favourite things in the entire world. Every year I do them, I forget how soul destroying they are, and then I remember how good it feels when they're done...when you're ticking them off and counting them down. As of last Tuesday I am a quarter of a way through my exams, and I'll be ticking another off this week. This year I am feeling the pressure of exams less than, perhaps, I ever have done which feels worrying in itself considering they're my university finals and should probably be the most important. I just can't get into it. But at least I'm not dying of stress (as in previous years). I don't know if it's a good or bad thing. What I do know is that in 11 days time when they are all over and I'm drinking cider courtesy of UCL Geography, I am going to be so happy it's over. 

4. Realising how lucky I am
The loss of two childhood friends within the space of a few weeks really does put your life in perspective. Two very lovely and very brave young men, who couldn't have been more different, tragically lost their lives in two very different accidents. I'm not going to pretend they were my best friends and pour my heart out, because there seems to be a lot of that for the moment (whether it's someone you used to know, or whether it's a celebrity you feel compelled to express irrational and immeasurable grief for), but the shocking loss of their lives has really touched me. It's one of those things that you think will never happen to you, and then when it does to the person who used to help you with your maths in year 5, it suddenly feels real, scarily close. It makes me feel lucky to be here, and so sorry that they're not. 

Happy Monday all! X
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Monday, 2 May 2016

Happy Mondays #15


I cannot believe last Monday was only a week ago. I genuinely think this has been the longest week of my entire life, most of which has been spent revising the most uninspiring of degree modules ever. I'm not going to pretend I've been super cheery all week, because that would be one ginormous lie - in fact, there have been a lot of days spent revising (and procrastinating) for 12 hours, broken only by mealtimes and sending "oh my god I am so bored" texts to my friends, and experimenting with Snapchat filters.  Painfully dull and totally all-consuming revision aside, I've actually had quite a good week with lots of things to be happy about and excited for...

1. Holiday booking 
This time in 40 days I will be in Greece with my best friend, sitting by a pool or on a beach with a beverage and, my god, is it going to be good. We fly the morning after I get my degree results, so it'll be the perfect way to celebrate or forget about the outcome and a much-needed and well-deserved week of sun and relaxation for us both. We haven't spent any extended period of time together, probably, since school so I'm really looking forward to hanging out and having the biggest catch up and chill time. It's also going to be my first ever trip to Greece, and I fully plan to eat my body weight in Souvlaki because Greek is hands down my favourite cuisine. This holiday cannot come soon enough!

2. Personal training
Aforementioned holiday and a decision to spend my last student loan payment in the most middle-class way ever has led me to start going to the gym and invest in a personal trainer. Weeks of revision has meant weeks of bored eating and, whilst much of this has been raisins and houmous (not together), much has also been Jammie Dodgers and dark chocolate. So I've decided that it's about time that I get over my uninformed hang-up about the gym, improve my fitness levels above that of a 50 year old, and tone tone tone. And, you know what? I'm really enjoying it. Having a tailor-made plan, and someone to check up on you, is a huge motivation and makes you feel like you're doing the right exercise to achieve your goals rather than aimlessly messing about in the gym and not really getting anywhere. I have, as a result, spent the last couple of days feeling so sore, but good sore, and I know it'll be worth it. I'm all about those big booty gains. 

3. Perspective
I've spent a lot of the last week thinking about stuff. I don't know whether it's because I've got a lot on my mind, feeling like I'm about to jump the last university hurdle and trying to work out what's next, or whether time spent on my own, at my desk, twiddling my fingers, inevitably leads to a wandering mind and some deep thinking. Either way, I feel like I've had a lot of time to think about the things that matter to me, the things that are important, and the things that I want. There's something very comforting about feeling certain, at least in what it is that you want, and I feel like I have a clearer mind because of it. Whether or not things will pan out that way is a whole new ball game, but feeling happier about my own mindset will do for now. 

4. Falafel 
I've been having crazy falafel cravings since being in Copenhagen and walking past a tasty-looking falafel stand in a food market. Last weekend my cravings were relieved, and I consumed more falafel than anyone needs to, and I don't think I need to eat it again for some time. Falafel with salad, falafel with kebabs, falafel in a pitta, falafel that escape from a pitta, rogue falafel ball that no one else wanted. I've also discovered that a falafel houmous combo, especially when eating that quantity of falafel, is too much. A chickpea overload, if you will. If it was possible to OD on falafel, I'd have done it. 

Happy, slightly grey, but BANK HOLIDAY Monday. X
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