The wanderer returns…

It’s been too long since I’ve last updated. So much has happened following the death of my little Poptart. I lost my grandmother just under three weeks ago. She was 99 years old and her mind was pretty much gone but it was still heartbreaking watching her slip away. She’s been a constant presence in my life for over 30 years and even though she hasn’t recognised me these past couple of years, it’s not an easy adjustment. Now Tuesday evenings I just go straight home from work rather than to visit her in the nursing home.

She’s gone in with my grandfather who died just over 20 years ago. And we put the ashes of her beloved dog Rusty in the coffin with her. It was his passing that triggered her loss of touch with reality, and the vet had warned us about it. Now they’re all together.

My mam and I visited the grave just yesterday. My grandmother’s details haven’t yet been added to the headstone but it was clear the grave had been dug up. My poor mam broke down. We’d brought my grandmother to her husband’s graves so many times, it felt almost wrong it just being the two of us. I don’t know how it’ll hit us once her name is on the headstone.

In some ways I don’t think it’s properly hit me yet. I didn’t cry until the day after her funeral and that was only because my sister and I ended up in a huge row over something insignificant. I haven’t cried since. Am I numb? Or did I cry so much for Poppy that my tears ducts have dried up? I feel heartless to say the least. That woman meant the world to me.

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Poppy

On Tuesday, 30th October my eldest dog Poppy (I called her Poptart) had to be put to sleep. She had been having seizures the previous weekend and it was established that something was growing on her brain and that it would just keep getting worse.

We adopted her just three years ago at the age of 12. We were initially told she was 14 but her booster card said 12. And on one of her last vet visits, we were told she was 13. So her age is a mystery, but I believe she was 15. I could barely function after she died. I threw myself in working on my new house and ignoring everything else. I didn’t meditate, do my morning pages, practice my German, blogging, etc. I wasn’t in work because I had taken the week off for house stuff.

I’m still not 100% and I probably won’t be for a while. I try to tell myself that she’s in a better place, she’s young and she’s healthy. Today I went back to work and I avoided everyone because I knew they’d be asking how my week off was and I couldn’t pretend it was a good week.

I hope we made her last three years comfortable and I do believe I will meet her again someday, along with the other pets I’ve lost. There has to be something beyond this.

Yoga to Pilates to Yoga

I’ve been doing Pilates since the end of 2017 every Tuesday lunchtime. The studio is just around the corner from my office and it was a bargain (€30 – €40) for six classes. I started off doing Pilates on Tuesdays and yoga on Thursdays. Then my yoga studio closed down so it’s just been Pilates so far this year.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to keep up with Pilates. Tuesdays are the days I visit my grandmother after work so it’s a long day. I find I dread it too often. And I’ve been so exhausted that I’ve scared myself a few times nearly nodding off while driving. I decided to quit Pilates but I didn’t feel good about it. Not because I’d miss it, but I just felt like a quitter.

Just last week I discovered a yoga studio near where I live. It’s not as close as my previous one but it’s only about a 5-10 minute drive. They have classes on evenings and weekends. I miss yoga. I think it’s better for my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Pilates. I felt like I really got a good workout, which is what made me reluctant to quit. I’m not ruling out going back to it, perhaps somewhere else down the line.

Today was my last class and I’m hoping to start yoga either this week or next week. I wondered if I’d made the right choice but after a particularly tough class today and my excitement to get back into yoga, I believe I have.

Something is not right

There are plenty of reasons not to buy a particular house – too much work needs to be done, rough neighbourhood, etc. However, yesterday evening my fiancé and I viewed a house in a nice area that, yes, needed some work, but nothing out of the ordinary. As we discussed it later, we realised that something put us off this particular house but we couldn’t quite put our fingers on it.

The previous owner died (whether in the house or not, I don’t know). I can’t help but wonder, was the house haunted perhaps? I’ve read so many paranormal stories of people stepping into houses/buildings and getting an uneasy feeling. I didn’t feel afraid or anything, but there was something bothering me throughout my time in there that I still can’t explain.

Whatever it was, we won’t be finding out!

Life on hold

When you’re saving every penny you have for a mortgage deposit, it’s hard to justify buying certain things. Everyone around me is going on nice holidays and/or buying new cars. House hunting is very disheartening right now because every house we’ve considered so far has been snapped up because we can’t compete with the high bids. I feel like we’re going to have to settle for a house that may need more than cosmetic work, so naturally, this has got me down. I don’t really have anything to look forward to, just mountains of debt.

[Self-pity rant over].

30 in 30 days: day one – coffee

My countdown begins and my first new experience was to try coffee for the first time. At first I was going to go to Starbucks seeing as I pass it going to and from work, but I’ve heard from coffee lovers, including my fiancé, that their coffee is “slop”. So I asked around and there’s a coffee bar near my office that apparently puts effort into making your coffee called Two Beans Coffee Bar (see picture below).

Obviously I had to decide which coffee to get. I decided to go with a latte, as I love milk! I never felt so out of place when I went inside, plus my glasses steamed up instantly so everything was slightly blurry. I asked for the latte and waited patiently, not sure whether I was to sit down and wait or stay at the counter. I chose the latter, as I had asked for it to-go (incase I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to leave a full cup behind). €3.10 it cost me, bit pricey! And it took me longer than it should have to find the lids!

Then came the moment of truth…

The best way I can describe it is drinking hot ash! I gave it two gulps before I had to accept defeat. Now I’m being told I should try cappuccino but that can way until 40 in 40 days list!

I’m glad I tried it, even if it did go to waste (and I really hate being wasteful). Thankfully my list so far doesn’t involve trying that many foods or beverages!

30 days to 30

Today is exactly a month away from my 30th birthday. I’ve spontaneously decided to do something new each day in the 30 days beforehand, starting Wednesday (which technically means the 30th day is my birthday, but I procrastinate!). Obviously these aren’t going to be big things because I have little to no planning time. So it’ll be little things. I’ve scoured “things to do before you’re 30” lists but they’re either too far-fetched or just downright ridiculous. And I don’t want people telling me what I should do, which also goes for the “books to read” and “movies to read” before you die stuff. I know what’s right for me.

I’ve made a short list so far of some things I want to do, but some days I may be in a pinch. Nevertheless I’m going to try, and I’ll update daily on my progress. Motivating myself to blog is an achievement in itself! I’m also looking for any recommendations, realistic ones. I know I said I don’t want people telling me what I should do, but I need some inspiration.

Here’s what I have so far:

1. Try coffee

I’m actually terrified of becoming addicted to coffee, but conquer your fears, right? What would be the right coffee to try for the first time?

2. “Thrift” shop

I never heard of that word before Macklemore and I presume it’s more of an American term, but we have charity shops in Ireland and I’ve always wanted to go exploring for some bargains. And the best part is that there are loads around where I work so I don’t have to wait until the weekend!

3. Cook dinner for my family

I can’t cook to save my life (though I’m pretty good at boiling eggs!), so I’d like to cook something for my parents (if I invite my siblings I’m just opening myself up for criticism!).

4. Go hiking

I live in the mountains (technically), there’s no excuse why I haven’t done this yet.

5. Get drunk

Within reason! I don’t drink, and while I do think I shouldn’t force myself to do something I’m uncomfortable with, part of me is curious as to how I’d act when I’m drunk. This is a maybe!

6. Write in a coffee shop

I’ve mentioned this before and it’s something I really want to do. If I wind up liking coffee when I try it, all the better! I’ve entered the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge, which begins at the end of the month so that’s as good an excuse as any.

7. Roller-blade

I used to be an ace at rollerblading when I was a kid. Now I’m not so flexible and terrified of breaking bones. I have a pair of roller-blades that I’ve only used twice that are gathering dust in my wardrobe. It’s time to break them out (with knee pads at least!)

8. Go to the cinema after work…alone

I’ve been to the cinema alone before, but I’ve worked opposite a cinema for three years now and I keep saying one evening I’ll go in and watch whatever is on.

And that’s all I can think of for now! Donate blood, maybe, I’ve made two attempts but either my iron was too low or they couldn’t find a vein. Third time could be the charm though!

There are some planned events that may count, including a weekend in Berlin I bought my fiance for Christmas. I’ve been before but there’s still opportunity to do something new.