November: Ten things on my mind this month

  1. Why do I keep getting almost-ill? I am not wishing the flu on myself. Nor a cold. Nor Covid, which has apparently made a comeback (though it was just last week that I was wondering why I couldn’t taste the ice cream I was eating. I realised it may have been because I was scoffing it down faster than my tastebuds could register the flavour. Then I remembered the time my old workplace furloughed everyone except ME and the bitter taste in my mouth told me I was fine). It’s not any real sickness. It’s that horrible tingly throat that you get a few days before you actually get ill, snotty and pale, the kind that makes you say ‘oh no. I think I’m getting ill’.Part of you groans because you can’t afford to not be working at optimal levels, another part shrugs because you have a reason to stay indoors and in bed, watching reruns of Gossip Girl. But the ill never comes. It just teases you and forces you to cancel plans in the near future because ‘oh no. I think I’m getting ill’. But then Friday night comes around and you’re fit as a fiddle without a table reservation. It’s just you and your cosy bed with a takeaway and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Oh no.
  2. On the subject of things that pretend they’re about to happen but then don’t, being a woman can be absolute hell. PMS is my worst enemy. I’m one of the unlucky ones who only feel normal for about a week out of the month (though I have all the sympathy for those who only feel normal for a day… or less). Immediately after ovulation, my body gets ready to really cause a scene.“No baby? Fuck you, then! Here is a lot of bloating to simulate the bump you didn’t want. Don’t want a baby in your belly? Here is a massive craving for carbs and sugar so you can store some fat in there instead because why do you need your jeans to fit today? Also, any time you scroll through reels there’s a 98% chance you will cry at something, and if you’ve been in a good mood recently, too bad. Hope you’ve bought extra supplies because you will constantly be on edge about a surprise bleed tomorrow that still won’t come until you’re actually due on. Have some of that for two weeks, you bitch.”
  3. Last week I was walking through the shopping centre and suddenly realised I was really upbeat and happy. I then also realised I was accidentally strutting along to Destiny’s Child’s 8 Days of Christmas, after which I immediately altered my stride so that my steps were no longer accidentally aligning with if he only knew what he does to me. But I did unfortunately smile to myself as I thought about what a good song that is and stopped smiling when I tried to think about good Christmas songs that aren’t from The Before Times; is the era of good Christmas entertainment over? Or am I just old?And what happened to good Christmas films? They just really don’t do ‘em like Elf anymore. I want cringey, corny movies with giant elves. Even, dare I say it, Home Alone. Which, of course, couldn’t happen today. Perhaps there’s room for a wider discussion about how the advancements of the world make it impossible to create any believable but riveting entertainment. Merry Christmas.
  4. Good Girls [Netflix] is good, with a really good plot that I fear the writers didn’t know how to develop properly. Three suburban mothers who partake in criminal activities to help solve their financial problems, which ultimately ties them in with a gang leader. I’m staying positive because I hate pretty much everyone in the show, but can’t stop watching. Why did we just forget about Dean cheating on his wife? Why is Annie an impossibly annoying adult baby who thinks it is quirky to act like an aloof teenager? Why does Rio just show up everywhere and talk with his mouth closed? So many questions, none of them yet answered.
  5. Carb cycling has done wonders for both my mind and body, proving that sometimes fad diets do work; you are definitely what you eat. I felt great, looked great, I had so much energy, my sleep schedule was pristine. As soon as I returned from my last holiday for the year and the clocks went back, I thought you know what? Some bread won’t hurt.I eat healthy-ish normally, but I really notice when I feed my body with nonsense. I have tried to find a balance between relentless macro-tracking and intuitive eating; the result is that I can feel whether I’ve had a good or bad day of eating. A day spent eating chips, chocolate, and one single bag of crisps without a gram of protein, and my skin is fighting for its life, I can no longer sleep, and my muscles hurt. I can’t understand how I was surviving through life before I did this, but then I realise, ha ha, I was young and depressed. (Un)fortunately I have grown up and grown healthier and an entire Greggs doughnut will catapult me into a long hibernation.
  6. Must I accept the aches and pains that come with age? I knew there were going to be random unexplainable pains, but I didn’t fathom just how many. Why has my neck been hurting for a week because I slept funny ONE night? Why does my back spontaneously decide to hurt on some leg days? Is lifting all these weights going to ruin my joints? What about walking? Do I just need to purchase a vibration plate and call it a day?
  7. I am a book hoarder. Some might even call me Frodo. I have so many books scattered everywhere; in my bookcase, in my cupboard, in my brother’s cupboard, on my desk, under my desk, in a paper shopping bag on the floor, piled by the shoe rack, in my handbag, in my tote bag, in my back-up tote bag, under the stairs, under the bed, in the loft, in my car… they are spilling out of every crevice of my life. So, you know, I am an ardent lover of a paperback (and the hardbacks that are tucked neatly on a shelf). I always have a book on me wherever I go, but sometimes it is an inconvenience.I use my phone to read on the treadmill (because I’m not pretentious enough to bring a book to the gym)… and I’ve never gotten through my reading list faster than when I started doing this, so I like to cheekily open up Apple Books when I’m at home or on the go. I try to cause myself as little toil as possible (read: lazy), and having to hold open a book and turn pages is just too draining for me, a late-20s woman in 2023 England. Long story short, I’ve nicked my dad’s Kindle because I can admit: sometimes ebooks are better.
  8. Somewhere along the line it became cheaper to buy a take away than to make your own food and I am absolutely fuming. Why is cozzy livs trying to ruin my love for cooking? I like to cook because I like to know exactly what is going into my body (yes, when I slice garlic I am slicing it really thin with a razorblade like Paulie) and, most importantly, I enjoy it. I don’t feel sluggish after a homemade pad Thai the same way I do after a Wagamama.But, unless you stick to the same recipes week-in week-out, the Sainsbos receipt isn’t looking much lower than an Uber Eats one, especially when you factor in time, the most expensive ingredient of all. Of course you can stick to jars and basic ingredients, but my point isn’t about cooking. It’s about a lovefor cooking and a love for food. I don’t eat just for sustenance. Right now it’s a battle between quality food at a monetary and time cost vs fast food at a monetary and health cost. Other times, chicken tenders in the oven a fantastic dinner makes.
  9. Internet abbreviations are doing my nut in and I can’t keep up. Iykyk. Wdym. Icl. And so on. These abbreviations don’t belong in my word bank and take me longer to read/type than the actual full phrase does. The earlier ones make sense; g2g and brb, for example, were abbreviated because you need a quick way to tell people you’ve got to go and will be right back! The rest of you are just lazy. What the hell is iykwim.
  10. I’ve absolutely had it with hearing ‘I can’t believe people were complaining about the summer we had. Look at this weather, I hope you’re happy!’ Yes, I am happy that winter is wintering in the UK. I’m happy that it is cold in winter, the way it is supposed to be. I am happy that I’m wearing a coat and a scarf in the winter months, I am happy that when I breathe I see a cloud of condensation in the air as we approach Christmas. Were you expecting a tropical monsoon in Swindon this December? A heatwave in Birmingham? Flowers starting to bloom in Slough? Stupid.

Now playing: 8 Days of Christmas – Destiny’s child

Originally posted on Substack. Subscribe here for free updates.

Leave a Reply