phantym_56: (ed - reunited - drink)
It's been a somewhat stressful day. I'm off to Norway on Thursday (ash cloud permitting). I had Brownies last night, Rangers tonight and there's a work social tomorrow night. I initially was hesitant on it, being the night before I fly off. Yesterday Daisy asked if I was coming and I told her it depends on how I get on with my packing. Her response: "You've got to come! Pack pack pack!" I do like to try and pretend to be sociable and I'd like to go, so I've spent today packing. After Brownies last night, I had too much pasta and turned limp and shivery - yeah, pasta's really bad for me - and didn't have the energy to stand up, let alone do anything constructive. I did a chunk of packing this morning, spent the morning at work making a list of things I needed To Do, To Pack in Hand Luggage and To Pack in Hold Luggage and at lunchtime and since I've got home, I've been going down the list. I just froze over at lunchtime, though. You know when you're stressed and you've got a thousand things to do and your body decides the best way to cope is to shut down? That. Packing, lunch, preparing for Rangers, making myself swallow a teeny-weeny pill, finding my phone... I found myself just standing in the kitchen, too overwhelmed to do any of it.

Anyway, we're now down to the last few things. Finding a good map at the correct scale so I can find my way around the two cities. Pretty much all the packing is done. There's still things like putting my cards in my travel wallet and packing my sunglasses - can't do either until I get home after the social tomorrow. And packing my phone, charger, hairbrush and pyjamas - all to be done when I wake up at ouch o'clock on Thursday. And food, but I need to go shopping for that on the way to Rangers. I have emptied my camera, I have put my writing and the entire first season of Boardwalk Empire on my (newly charged) netbook and packed the lot.

Now to watch the ash and quiver until I'm actually in the air (when I remember that I'm a slightly nervous flyer. Even I forget this. I look forward to plane journeys for months. I sit in my seat and bounce like a child and stare out of the window and adore both take-off and landing. I love flying. But when we're levelling off and the engines go quiet, I get twitchy. And when the turbulence is bad enough for the pilot to put the seatbelt signs on, I become convinced we're about to be thrown out of the air and die hideously. But if the engines are noisy and the flight is smooth, I love flying and I will sit there and be scornful of anyone who is nervous). I have decided that my next holiday will be to Iceland, armed with a very large cork. Damn them and their volcanoes.

Also, I am tired. I couldn't sleep Sunday night because my brain was dancing around singing about pirates all night and I woke up far too early this morning and didn't get back to sleep properly. And if I go to bed with the window open, it's too cold to sleep and I am forced to close it. But if the window is closed, I wake up at just-before-sunrise (which is quite early in summer) because I'm hideously uncomfortable without some fresh air, so that's been disturbing me every night for the last week or so. So I am quite tired, especially in the mornings, and therefore liable to uncharacteristic.
phantym_56: (shitehawk)
New week tomorrow, new start. Positivity and all that. Cheering up. Recognising that there are good things in my life. I know I can't win every day but it does feel like I've had more loses than wins recently.

You can't depend on other people to make you happy and there are many things I can do myself to make me happy. To completely mangle a quote: "Life is what happens while you're waiting for other people". I'm not waiting for them anymore. I'm doing things and seeing things and it's very small-minded of people I called friends to say things like "You need to find a boyfriend... you sort of mess up the numbers." Fuck that. It's my life and I don't want a boyfriend in it. I will not conform to your petty little social statuses. You will not make me feel like an outcast because my life doesn't exactly match yours. And you know what? I've seen your life. It doesn't appeal very much. It seems to involve spending a lot of time sitting at home with a husband who doesn't strike me as a terribly interesting man and doesn't seem to even speak very much. (Not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Have you ever looked at the midday sun from halfway up a Transylvanian mountain you never meant to be anywhere near and felt glee? Have you ever shrieked in adrenaline-fuelled triumph while standing on a plank? Have you ever sat in a darkened room surrounded by strangers, unable to breathe because you're laughing so hard? Well, I have. And I wouldn't have done any of it if I'd waited for someone to come with me. Sometimes I'm "lonely", yes. But most of the time I'm "independent" or "free". And besides, it's not a crime to be a person who finds being alone more comfortable than being surrounded by people. It's not a crime to not be a people-person. As long as you're happy with that. And most of the time, I am. I came to terms long ago with the fact that I'm happier hiding in my room than I am at a party.

I know that I don't quite fit into any of the boxes you want to put me in. Is she a shy quiet meek little mouse? Yes! And yet is she a bold, pig-headed, too-fearless-for-her-own good bulldozer? Yes! Dreamer or doer? Yes! To both! Jenny once told me I was cool because I didn't care what anyone else thought of me. And that's something that a lot of teens think about themselves and they are sadly mistaken and for that reason, I don't entirely like the description. But I can't deny that there's a certain amount of accuracy in it. Whether or not you find that admirable is up to you. I'm not striding out there radiating "I'm weird! I don't care what you think of me!" because that makes me fucking cringe. But neither am I skulking around going "Please like me, I'll die if you think I'm weird."

The upshot of this all is that I am, like most people, a bit of a patchwork (and probably a patchwork in progress at that) and it's time for me to embrace that a bit, cheer the fuck up and not give a damn about whether or not my friends have got any time in their tedious little lives for me.

(Please note the shitehawk icon. I am pouring out words and emotions and not necessarily phrasing things how I might if I was trying to be diplomatic)
phantym_56: (bryan - pretty hair)
Sorry. I'm feeling a lot better now. Calmer, more rational, heart a little stonier. I have cried my cry (not helped by going downstairs to demonstrate calmness straight into a room where Mother and Sister were watching Long Lost Family - set me off again!) and I am back in my right mind.
The misery hasn't hit much in 2011 but damn, that hit hard tonight.

We have a long weekend coming up. I am making good on my resolution to hike more, with a seven mile hill and cliff hike planned, depending on weather and period pains. I managed to buy food tonight and I'll see if I can hunt down my Camelbak in the morning and then off I'm going. After all, there's no need to watch The Wedding when the news for the next week will show all the important bits.

Saturday is for a little shopping. A couple of years ago I bought a big soft red tartan shirt with a hood and it's wonderful for either wearing on its own or for throwing on as an extra warm layer. Don't know what I'd have done without it in Vilnius. The shop I bought it from now has a very similar one in blue on its website. I will need to prod it to make sure it's just as soft but if it is, I'm buying it. And I've got some Norwegian kroner reserved at the travel agent. In a fit of organisationalness, I ordered it on Tuesday. The last two mad trips I've done, Romania and Lithuania, they don't have currency that is generally kept in stock at travel agents or post offices, you have to order it in plenty of time. But apparently, Norway is a common enough destination that I could have just walked in the day before I left and asked for it and they'd just have taken it out of the NOK drawer.

And I suppose I should find a birthday present for Sister. I've been toying with the idea of a spa day - she really wants to go and is insanely jealous that I've been twice and the one we went to for Annie's hen party does a £65 day all-in, two treatments. That's £130 for the both of us, because obviously I'd go as well. And I could afford that. But... it's £130, which is a lot of money and it may also suggest I'm more fond of her than I actually am. I may go for the old standby of shoes/clothes/makeup/Johnny Depp DVD. I notice The Tourist is out and I'm fairly sure she hasn't got it yet. But I have no idea what the Useless Boyfriend is getting her. Probably not an engagement ring. (She's stopped saying "No, I'm not marrying [Useless Boyfriend]" and started saying "Well, he isn't proposing. No, I'm not asking him." My point being that now, in the unlikely event of him asking, she would say yes, whereas before she wasn't keen on the idea.)

Sunday is a day off and so is Monday. I have made no plans but I'm hoping to get out of tidying my room. Yes, it looks like it belongs to a particularly messy thirteen-year-old. You try fitting twenty-five years of life in one minuscule room and see how tidy it is. Twenty-five years of life of a hoarder who gets ridiculously attached to things, at that.

Goodnight. I'm clearly in need of a good long sleep.
phantym_56: (ed - sleeeepy)

*drowsy*

*rubs eyes*

People are nice. I was adopted by three retired Canadian teachers today and taken to a cafe for hot chocolate then to a nice castle on an island.

I checked in for my flight tomorrow and missed the numbers, got my boarding pass texted to the wrong number. After ten minutes of panicking I phoned the wrong number and they said they'd wondered about the boarding pass they'd just received and forwarded it on. When I think about the things that could have gone wrong - could have been a dead/inactive number, phone could have been off, could have been someone like my grandparents who wouldn't have seen the text, wouldn't have been capable of answering my call and certainly wouldn't have been able to forward it... I shudder. I actually start trembling uncontrollably. Thank God it was someone on the ball.

This is my last night in Lithuania. I think I've liked it here.

*falls asleep fully dressed*

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

phantym_56: (ed - reunited - squash)

I am Vilnius'd out. Three days wandering the same small city.

I admit, my first impressions of the place weren't great. But Thursday - I found food, I had a good look around, I saw the view from the hill. I learned to trust the city from Cathedral Square onwards.

Yesterday I filled in a few gaps, ventured off the tourist trail a little bit, began to feel comfortable in the Old Town as well.

Today I have done my shopping. I have bought my obligatory amber. Chose necklaces for mum and sister then remembered the amount of money I'd left hidden in my notebook in case of the unlikely event of getting mugged. 'Excellent,' thought I. 'If I spot some amber I like the look of, I have some money for it.' Unfortunately, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the one I bought for my sister. I had to take my spare money and spend hours trying to choose another one. I wasn't going to buy myself any amber. Rings have to fit perfectly or they're just annoying. Bracelets rattle. And I'm already walking around with three necklaces on. I have my silver dragon which has been around my neck for ten years, give or take five very harrowing days this time last year when it fell under a stage. A chunk of jade that I've been wearing since August. And whenever I travel I wear a gold St Christopher which my grandad gave me for either my 18th or 21st birthday. Can't remember which but it was a significant birthday. They're all different lengths so they don't jangle or get tangled up and I wear them between different layers of clothing anyway.

God knows what to take back for Dad. Another mug? A keyring? And yet... Amber jewellery is a no. He doesn't wear jewellery. He doesn't even have a wedding ring. Never has done. For years I found it odd to see men with wedding rings. So amber, no. I thought about Lithuanian snacks but other than the language on the packet, everything seems much the same as at home. Any suggestions?

So I've had three days here. I don't know if I could truthfully recommend it as a holiday destination but I quite like this city. What I think sticks out here is the little things. Old ladies crossing themselves as they go through the Gates of Dawn. The 'God Dog' cafe (I will show you a picture of the sign when I get home. Until then, I have no way of getting my photos off my card). The 'Laugh :)' graffiti on the side of a building. Puddles in the road so cars splash pedestrians. Cars chirruping when they're remote unlocked (the first time I heard this I stopped dead. That's not a real sound, that's a sound effect! It's illegal in the UK, so Dad tells us every time it happens on TV. Not in Lithuania). Snow. The way they name their days as 'First Day', 'Second Day' etc. Pica (Does not mean small. Much more obvious, at least when you know that 'c' in Lithuanian is pronounced 'ts', as in 'cats'.). The way the belfry is perfectly straight in real life yet leans terrifyingly in photos. The buttons on pelican crossings! There's no button, you just lay your hand on the box and the light comes on. I love it! Teapots embedded in a wall. The Segway party I came across. The unicyclists I didn't have time to take a photo of yesterday. Effeminate statues. Long-handled dusters. Gediminas the Zombie King.

So there are plenty of small things I have enjoyed and been entertained by here. Tomorrow I would love to get the bus to Trakai. Vilnius is lovely but I've run out of things to do here. Bus travel involves being brave and also hoping I still have enough litas for a return ticket.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

phantym_56: (ed - different class)

Oh, the Internet went missing for so long! I watched three episodes of All the Small Things last night, ate crackers and wrote at least four pages. I have decides that my absolute favourite travel accessory, no competition, is an iPhone.

I tried to go to a nice bit of green open park yesterday. It turned out to be a lethally icy patch of pine forest which felt about as safe as the Somalian coast. I headed straight back into the city centre.

It is snowing. I thought winter was over but then I came to Lithuania. It's also only 8.38am. I am not getting up. Shops don't open until getting on for 11 here and I'm tired. Don't know why I don't seem to sleep away from home but I've been awake for most of the last two nights. This bed is warm and outside is really cold. I will venture out in a bit.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

phantym_56: (ed - hatshaped)

Today I have had an exhausting but fun day. I have bought food, roamed the length of Gediminas Prospektas, stood on top of Gediminas Tower and got a touch of sun-pinkness on my cheeks, even though the wind is cold. I am back at the hotel and I don't intend to do anything else today.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

phantym_56: (ed - ponytail)
The subject of my trip came up at work again today. Dearly Beloved Boss has added the spectre of human trafficking to my list of things to be terrified of but on the whole, I'm ignoring the scaremongering. I can get rabies, be hit by a car, get mugged or pickpockted or kidnapped or pretty much anything like that in London. He did add that if I need to, if I find myself with no money or passport or plane tickets or otherwise in trouble, I can always call him as our company is "well placed to move me". Our company specialises into getting things into and out of inhospitable places with all the bureaucracy and getting around it that is entailed. It would have no problem getting one person out of a country in Europe.

We also had a discussion about Fukushima. I spent half an hour reading about nuclear reactors and nuclear fission. I shall keep my opinions to myself, however. Something I was unable to do when my Boss brought up the subject this afternoon.

I am mostly packed. I thought I'd sync my phone and iPod quickly before I left. Naturally, iTunes senses the hurry and decides it would be hugely entertaining to fuck around in every way it can think of. For once, I'm staring at my phone and hoping my Rangers decide not to come tonight.
phantym_56: (ed - sexyhat)
Going to Lithuania and quite frightened )


The philosophy of going places on my own )

In other news... well, there's not much. Going to Lithuania and "I need to find some quiz questions for Brownies by bedtime tonight" are the only things in my brain at the moment. This morning I acquired a sudden crush on Brian Cox. I watched him on Something for the Weekend and giggled and melted and generally went a bit soppy at him. I don't think this will last long, judging by the fact that as soon as he's out of sight, I've forgotten him.

I ate on my broken tooth the other day. It felt fine at the time, I started thinking that it just needed a bit of time to heal up or something. Nope. By bedtime, agonising toothache. At just before two in the morning, I was drinking liquid painkiller out of the bottle. No spoon and the dosing syringe still had a small amount of gunge in it from the last time I used it. Liquid painkiller tickles but I can't get up in the middle of the night and go downstairs for a drink. I'd be shot. And besides, if I did go downstairs, I could just take some adult medicine.

I have a small ulcer caused by the rubbing of a sharp bottom tooth. It has become the only thing in the world I can think about. Poking it, prodding it, biting it, trying to get rid of it (yes, I know all those things will just make it worse). I should be packing and thinking of some quiz questions. I can't. I have an ulcer and it needs to be prodded. Even noises in another room is doing my head in right now. I have a tiny tiny pain in my mouth and it's become my world. Stop rustling those fucking bags! I can't stand the noise! Oh, but I can't actually go and yell that because I will be accused of being totally unreasonable and incredibly bad-tempered.
phantym_56: (ed - sleeeepy)

I'm feeling a little better now. Back in my own bed (my parents' bed for some reason is much better for anti-pain naps), I've had some painkillers, I've watched Primeval and Russell Howard's Good News. Now I'm just plain tired. I went out with the girls from work yesterday, to a murder mystery evening. We got back late, my mind had been set going far too fast and it was reluctant to slow down and it also decided it needed to see the Graham Norton Show before I could sleep. I put the computer down and fidgeted for an hour and hovered on the edge of sleep and then gave up, hoisted the laptop back up. Fine, brain. You win.
And then, having not got to sleep until nearly 3am, my brain decided to wake me up by 8. Properly awake. Not the sort of half-awake that compels me to push back the heavy duvet so as to be able to get at the radiator better at 6am but properly now-I'm-awake-I-should-get-up sort of awake. I didn't get up. I listened to the radio on my phone instead, having had to first go downstairs to fetch the thing. Then I got dragged to town, dragged to the bank to get Dad's name taken off my bank account and then had to remain until Sister had finished shopping. I bought The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie and I'm looking forward to finishing Best Served Cold.

Ireland trip planning )


I'm tired. I missed a lot of sleep last night and although I had a nap this afternoon, I've still several hours to catch up on. But first, Primeval.

Musings on Primeval series four. )

Goodnight.


phantym_56: (bryan - kursk)
I am back on an even keel. I have not been prone to bouts of misery recently. But that doesn't mean I can't have ordinary miserable days. A bit like today. Admittedly, everything is influenced by the fact that 26 days have cycled round exactly as quickly as I expected them to and I don't function hugely brilliantly with stomach ache and shivers. Today I am liable to be upset by things that wouldn't have bothered me yesterday or next week or any other time except today and maybe the next two days.

Today I am hormonal and therefore not functioning quite correctly. )
phantym_56: (ed - graham norton)
In which I briefly RAGE about keys and doors )
Anyway, steam fired off. Provided I'm left alone, I shall revert to my good mood and spend the evening writing bits and pieces and researching Vilnius. I sent Alex there in my Big Book Project and I've decided it's as good a place as any to run off to for a few days in March. The reality probably doesn't include a crossbow attack, a mercenary or a stolen Lamborghini...
phantym_56: (big book project)
The internet is frustrating. Over three years ago, I wrote a little story which became an epic (and was never finished). It was about Jeremy Clarkson driving to Greece while James and Richard took a train. I researched it obsessively. I had a full-on timeline of it, an AA route map showing exactly how long it would realistically take Jeremy and a proper timetable of the necessary trains, the route tweaked so the race could conceivably be really really close. I knew every stop on that journey and I knew every haystack they'd pass by, exactly what times and all. Over three years ago. Three years later, when technology and communications have improved incredibly... nope, I can't find anything that'll give me that train journey. No site recognises either Athens or Thessaloniki and the one that might be helpful won't give me a timetable because it's more than three changes. I want preciseness and I don't want to have to actually book an epic train journey in order to get it! If you know how I can plan a trip from Budapest to Athens by train, please, I'd love your help. The internet has failed me. The best I can manage is that you'd probably change or pass through Belgrade, Skopje and Thessaloniki but I need to know how long it would take.

(Also, it's four days until the end and I'm only at 28,715 words. Bastard November being busier than I'd realised. I've currently got Alex crying his eyes out on Joey's shoulder because he's exhausted and overly emotional but it would be nice to know where he is)

Ah, the mere act of posting there made the right site pop up. www.bahn.de in case you ever need to plan an unlikely journey. Budapest 13.05 to Belgrade 20.35, Belgrade 21.15 to Thessaloniki 12.42. Internet, I apologise. You're great.

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June 2012

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