Dreams in the dark

I dreamt last night that I was ill, with full-body visceral recall of how it feels to cough and cough, all night, all week, all winter. As a student, I did just that, pretty much, from November to May. For 5 years. I don’t know why. The doctors didn’t – and frankly considered it normal for Scotland in the winter.

I ate better than most students, because I could cook, but still relied on too many white rolls (usually with “Crema Bel Paesa” cheese), cheap noodles, pints of milk, apple turnovers, fruit gums and very much too much alcohol. Oh yes. I didn’t smoke, but everyone else did, and back then, indoors too. Whatever the reason, I suffered for a bit less than half the year, all that time.

Then I got a job, moved to England, then Germany – and I’ve been ill with a cough 4 times in the intervening 25 years, once in my first year in England. None has lasted more than 3 weeks (and that was when I was also horribly stressed and depressed). I’m kinda famous for never catching colds/flu, even when everyone else does.

It’s all just old dreams, from which I’m very glad to wake.


They just make you worse

Yet another night with about 5 hours sleep, me signing myself up to be more busy (short course in social media management – useful for every venture, even if only to establish whether or not I get someone else to do it in future!). All weekend plans have changed. I was supposed to have 2 gigs this week, down in Sachsen. One got cancelled by the Ordnungsamt, the other a victim of regional holiday time – it has been postponed until October. I have therefore volunteered to help Friday tonight at the boat club…

My boyfriend’s mother broke her ankle in the night, so he has to go out there to look after her (huge) dog. And *her* 90+ mother is very ill in a care home, taken very much a turn for the worse this week.

Despite what the care home people seem to think, the old grandmother does still understand and know what’s going on – it’s just she is so weak that it takes an enormous effort to get any words out, and often that fails, leaving just noises… She was apparently a “difficult” person all her life, and the family suspect she’s been recently over-medicated in an attempt to make her easier to handle – a thing which is shockingly common. Or perhaps it’s no longer shocking, which is even grimmer. Got me thinking, maybe all the “drugs” that society lays on for us are to make us easier to handle – TV to numb our minds, consumerism to numb our souls, work to give us no time to think, alcohol to let us sleep, coffee to get us awake again, ready for another day as a busy worker/consumer, dutifully making the hyper-rich even richer…

On that note – today I have had the strongest urge for a real coffee that I have had since Xmas. But I didn’t! Got my assigned 2 tasks done for the week, wrote to the users, like I was asked to, to them it was all on the test website, and my boss knows what I’ve done and that I’ve already done a bit of next weeks work. She’s on holiday next week, dunno if that will make it quieter or busier!

Also been investigating RoboAdvisors… (Investment).

Still no Else Buddy – but I did sign up for Daliah’s Social Media Manager course (just to see if I like it), watched more of Lydia Lee’s video, and made a list of possible ways I could earn / ideas of what I could create (some location-independent, some not). I’ve got my Else folder and tablet packed for a weekend at the boat (when I’m not sailing or helping out with the dinghy regatta!). Tired to death from lack of sleep this week, but maybe I’ll sleep better on board!

Heavy Load


Back the gym today for the first time in 2 weeks. Normally if I have time off, my deadlift is unaffected, or I can even lift more – not this time. Oh well. I’m not thrilled to be back in hamster-wheel land (German classes, work), but just going to do the best job I can of it and be patient. Oh, my international sailing licence came in the post, so I’m all square if I meet the police again. Also, I got my flight refund and the bank details to pay for the damage to the other boat, which I’ll do today.

I felt close to tears again in the last phase of my workout, thoughts in the usual circle of feeling trapped by my own (past) choices and not being able to see how I can live the life I want, whilst providing value.

But I was full of energy with my new 90 day Roadmap challenge from Else Society – the only thing now is finding an accountability Buddy – we are all supposed to do this, but I have asked a few times, as have others, and very few seem to have actually managed to pair up – which I find a shame. I might have to be my own Buddy, or, since my BF wants to change his life (though he is not in any group/scheme), we can be each others. I just need the feeling that someone knows what I am doing to overhaul my life and cares – and to be that help and support for someone else. Don’t we all? I suspect I need a full-on Life Coach, I can’t expect the level of involvement and support across my whole life from anyone else. But that is quite a research task to find the right one…

Raw: 2 weeks in

2 weeks of raw eating, and I’m bored. Bored with the food I’m eating, bored with the “challenge”, bored with the  fact that I know I can stick it to the end (it’s going to be maybe one day short, because I’m going on the Round The Island yacht race back in the UK on three 30th June, and I can’t remember what I ate on the 31st May. *unconcerned shrug*), bored with no detectable effects on either my body or my mind.

My dodgy hip is still dodgy, no worse, no better (some friends have reported joint aches disappearing whilst eating raw, only to return when they resume their previous eating habits). Gym performance is same as ever. I don’t have much fat, but it seems the same amount as ever. I can’t say about my weight. I only weigh myself when I visit my family (twice a year or so), because it’s so boring – a tad either side of 60 kg, always. Mood has been a bit lower than average, but that’s due to work/band/ financial circumstances, I would say. No extra sense of connection, no mental clarity, no physical weakness – or extra energy. No extra specially amazing raw vegan sex, like a friend of mine experienced. (Goddammit! Maybe that only works if both of you eat raw, though… 🙂 ). I do not feel the slightest bit different – except maybe the odd minor craving for fried onions over the past few days!.

It’s all so-so.

I’m slightly more aware how much food can be a distraction, a something to do – from impulse snacks bought at the train station to pass time, to the easy minor pleasure of a meal out after a work day that leaves little energy for anything active. If I hung out in hipper areas, where there would be at least some raw vegan options, but I don’t. Supermarkets are my friend!

I’ll stick with it, in case there are any late-blooming effects, but so far, it’s been rather uneventful and not much of a challenge.



Must be Thursday

Day 8 raw. The “Big Hunger” that I had in the first few days disappeared by day 4. My deadlift workout in the gym yesterday was absolutely unaffected. My stomach (which can swell up a bit sometimes, depending on what I eat) remains very flat. I think there’s very minor fat loss – hard to tell, as I’ve not got a huge amount. I peed a ridiculous amount on Tuesday night, normally that only happens 1-2 days after big workouts, I’ve always thought it was down to getting rid of the breakdown products from the muscle “damage” that preceeds growth. Here, it could just be random. I’m spending about €17 every 2 days, instead of 35-40 a week on food – but not eating out, so it balances up I guess. I’ve not been getting quite enough sleep, but that’s summer for you (or for me, at least). Mostly I have been totally fine, but today at work I feel it. No biggie.

Mentally, I’ve been on a pretty consistent level of discontent with life – not knowing the path, not having a dream to aim at. I really miss that. I feel very strange going through the city, with its shops and bustle and people busy buying things, cut off from the casual “pick something up to eat on the way” culture, from the infinite choices they have. Nothing seems quite real, and I can’t engage. Work, I can disappear into, but lack of progress is not cheering, and lack of purpose even more so. I’m not inspired by a future learning the obscure details of a particular logistics and supply operation, like my colleagues already have. Superb and very specific domain knowledge has never been a major motivator for me. 

I like working hard towards a goal that I value.  I want to be the only one telling me what to do, when to do it. I want to be the only judge of whether what I do is done well enough. I want to work in bursts, not continually. I’m tired of others judging – by whether they are willing to pay for it. I love learning new things – but not the pressure of having to learn to do it well enough that people will pay me regularly for it – in a world where standards and competition are global.

A friend of mine is embarking shortly on a degree and a different direction. He’s made a very smart choice, with something that can only be done in person, one on one. It’s the in person skills that seem to let you be “good enough” at a local level.

I really would love to learn a craft for the joy of it. Irrespective of whether it makes me money or not.

I want to be location-independent.

The point of this raw trial was to see if I gained any added mental clarity, to feel more connected to the Universe, to be able to better read the signals of where to go. I’m not sure yet if that’s happening, but we’ll see at the end of the 30 days.


Today was day 2 of my 30-day raw food trial. I’ve been eating more or less mostly raw all week, and I’ve been on fresh fruit and nuts for breakfast since April, and salads for lunch  since about 3000BC. I bought a ton of stuff today, have eaten about half, but am still suffering from what a friend of mine would call “detox symptoms” and most of us would just call hunger. Growly, empty stomach. This is despite including 2 lots of nuts, coconut milk, avocado and olives – all high-calorie items, and even a fair whack of protein… Gym workout was squats, went OK. It’s far too early in this experiment to expect much change. I did not feel like this in my post-Xmas week, but then I was also eating a vegan meal replacement called Huel (raw except some of the added vitamins may have been heated in processing). It’s very effective at keeping me from feeling hungry, and might feature again this time (though not often, I’d rather eat fresh whole foods).

I had a charming evening at the sailing club, watch old home movies from the 70s, filmed at the club. The palpable sense of community seen in these old super-8s was heartwarming, as was seeing people of all ages, and families with children, all together, enjoying the boats and the water, rather than mostly older folks, like so many sailing clubs seem to be now.

The boats themselves were mainly fabulous – late 60s designs, wooden, often self built or renovated, long booms, old-school sails made of natural fibres (to judge by how narrow the lengths of cloth used in their construction were). Just my sort of thing. Not many engines! Most people here still get in and  out of the their berths without power, even though they have it. Jürgen, sitting next to me, looked and sounded wistfully melancholy when he said that “back then, many boats were built here”. If I recall correctly, he used to be a boatbuilder himself…I would love to build a wooden boat – maybe I could carry on the tradition. But those are dangerous thoughts, which I won’t continue here.

Also interesting was how manpower instead of machinery was used, from driving new piles (which also required waiting till the river freezes solid!), to launching and hauling, to shovelling snow. It takes many people, working together to get things done – but it looks like fun! With beer and huge pots of soup. The charm of days gone by… The club house building itself also saw its fortunes rise and fall, from smart in the late 30s (as seen in old photos also included in the video), to very scruffy in the late 70s (“we had simply no money then”). “Look at that”, my fellow members said about the pile driving with a self erected frame and 2 men working ropes. “Nowadays we’d just get a firm in to do it” but they sounded a little sad, as if we have lost something. Some feeling of community, that is so clear in these old films.

Jean turned up very late, past midnight, and so my day ended well, on a different day to that on which it had begun, with good, close company and sound sleep.