I’m going to regret this…

Groningen 365 89

Originally uploaded by girlwithtrowel.

.. but I’m feeling a bit uninspired about 365 pictures recently, and I have more than 250 to go!

So: Set me a challenge! @ me on twitter, email me, facebook me or suggest it in the comments and I’ll do my best to follow your missions.*

Is there a building in the city you want me to get a shot of? An unlikely combination of colours, people or things?

This evening I’m lurking and reading. I owe a few emails to people too, so I should probably hop off and write them.

I’ll collate the 365 challenges and post them up here in a few days. I’m also going to try to say something about English Heritages’ National Heritage Protection Plan when I’ve had time to digest a bit more. I’m nowhere near an expert on heritage policy though; so read with this in mind!

*No law breaking or nekkidness though, OK?

Climbing the Martinitoren

Climbing the Martinitoren

Originally uploaded by girlwithtrowel.

Today I did what I promised myself I would do weeks ago. I climbed the Martini Tower (named for St Martin, not the drink) and took pictures. My Building must be one of the few in they city that can’t been seen from it because of a large block of flats in the way.

In no particular order, I also read one of my favourite books, did a lot of exercises (not including the 97m climb to the top of the tower) and discovered that tight, steep, dark spiral staircases make me somewhat nervous, especially on the way down.

I also put a proper dent in some work on my PhD results that I’ve been hiding from a bit, avoided the rapture and am about to score a second in-bed-before-midnight in a row. Go me!

The only things I didn’t get to do today were speak with Matt (due to work and social commitments on his part) and take pictures of epic quantities of pens for my Dad as a birthday treat. Sorry Dad- the shop with all the pens was shut when I finally got there.

I still haven’t decided what to do with my hair. So far the only votes have been yes for the red. No one is voting blonde…but I usually root for the underdog…

System reset

When I am stressed, things in my life become a bit chaotic. Conversely, chaos makes me more than a bit stressed. This can be a bit of a vicious circle as I start feeling like I can’t get on top of anything at all, so why even try? I also tend to share a bit too much on the internet.


So, classic symptoms. Stopped blogging? Check. Stopped writing my paper diary? Check. Bad sleeping patterns? Check. Needing things to distract myself and not being able to concentrate very well? Check.

Fortunately, I have a remedy for this. It involves taking a bit of a step back and having a hard think about what it is that is stressing me out (in this case I’m not sure but I think it is probably to do with having a) a big upheaval b) a very different working environment and c) being away from the people who normally point this stuff out before it gets too bad). Nothing is going wrong exactly; I love my job, I like where I live and the people here are amazing and I’m making some good friends. It’s just that since I got back from Italy, things have been a little bit hectic and the last 2 weeks since Matt left I’ve not felt right.

The second step is really positive. I need to set down, in writing (and preferably share with someone else… in this case you lucky lot) what I need to get done, and how I intend to go about it. Work wise and life wise.

So, work will be fine if I give myself tasks and break stuff down instead of seeing the project as a bit scary mountain. I made a serious start on that yesterday and today and already feel loads better. I have a big list of things to work on, but at least I have it all written down now, not flying around my head worrying I’ll forget something important.

Then there is me. I need to eat better, sleep better and exercise more, so expect a lot of ‘woot I swam 1km’ tweets, and if I don’t, remind me. I need to go to bed at 11 on a work night, not stay up ‘till 1am surfing on the web, so if you catch me online at a godawful hour, send me to bed! I need to find the motivation to plan and cook healthy meals, and not give in to snacks and junk food ‘cause it’s easy and I feel lonely.

Finally, I need to work on sorting out the remnants of the work from my PhD and get some papers written in the evenings instead of all this navel gazing! So that’s what I am off to do.

Tomorrow I have plans to take the new laptop (nicknamed Kachiko) to the city centre and find somewhere cosy with good coffee to work for a few hours, get my bike looked at (though deliberately small the seat keeps sinking down and I need the bolt adjusted or it’s even more comically short than is strictly necessary) and go up the Martini Tower to take yet more pictures of the fun fair, but this time from above! On Sunday I am going to swim in the open air pool and watch the F1 with some of the lovely people I mentioned earlier and do domestic things. Then we’ll see, but that sounds like a good start.