Taking my joy from… 12

I never know whether to comment on my absences or not. My readership is random and rather small, so I feel very comfortable waiting until inspiration strikes. Normal life has its own pressures without feeling the need to impose a schedule here.

But it’s been a long time. How are you? Hope you’re well and happy. I am too, and here are some of the reasons why:

First up is a set of YouTube videos from Johnny Azaria TV that brought me back from the brink of migraine yesterday afternoon. Who knew watching a person drive around New York City (mainly Manhattan) could be so undemanding yet weirdly riveting? I’ve only spent about 11 days in Manhattan, and all three trips were several years ago, but I miss it. I love all the European cities I can visit easily from the UK, but New York City will always be the ultimate city to me. Sitting comfortably on my sofa watching canyons of buildings march along 5th Avenue made it a little easier to admit I don’t know when I’m going to get back there in real life.

Next is a very big thank you to Cubitts for my new glasses. I found them after a frustrating experience elsewhere where silly mistakes were made (three times over four months) by people who were not listening to me properly. Cubitts was recommended by a friend and they were careful, helpful and patient, both during the exam and while helping me choose frames. And, even though they have a fairly posh address in Leeds, my glasses cost £90 less than from the chain store in the mall! I have a complex prescription and it’s a relief to have such crisp vision again, especially for computer work.

I haven’t been a keen reader for a long time (I’m hoping my new glasses will help turn that around), but thanks to Easter holidays and a great book, I recently finished a book in under three days. I first heard about Wintering by Katherine May on a podcast, picked it up at my local bookstore on my way to the park; ended up reading the first chapter while sitting on a chilly bench. I read the rest of it in my favourite chair, returning to it again and again while pottering around the house. Although before hearing about this book I was not familiar with the term ‘wintering’ in the way the author uses it, I am absolutely not a stranger to the act of wintering. And this book really makes that process okay, necessary, and nothing to be ashamed of. Highly recommend, especially if you or a loved one is stuck in a moment of perfectionism, overachieving or have simply forgotten that we aren’t robots.

Finally, the program I am using to write this post is making writing fun for me again. Writer: the internet typewriter is gloriously simple and free from distraction, and comes with typewriting sounds too. Turns out my muse really really likes it when I sound like I’m working in a 1960s newsroom.