So, I've been working in-house at my old publishers again, two days a week, for nearly a month and I cannot believe how it's affected my ability to do things. For one thing, actually having spare cash to go out -- awesome! For another, total exhaustion and a subsequent flake out on the sofa when I get home -- awful.
I've been cycling the 25 minutes from my house to Vauxhall, an exhilarating way to start the day if there ever was one, then taking the train out to the office where I induce forced brain collapse for 7 hours. Then I take the train back to Vauxhall and cycle sweatily home again. I actually rather enjoy the way this new routine makes me treasure the time I have for my research, but it's knackering.
I fully appreciate that anyone who actually works in an office FIVE DAYS a week will now either be flipping me the bird or laughing at me for being such a wuss. But as well as working in-house, I've also started teaching at uni again (little first years for critical theory, two seminar groups, loving it) and have started working with a new supervisor while my old one is on sabbatical, which means I REALLY have to work now. I'm glad for the change, really though, as I was getting too complacent with my old supervisor.
I've not had any time to sew at all for three weeks, which SUCKS. However, my knitting time has been completely amped up. The train journey affords me at least 40 minutes every day just for knitting, which is lovely. When I get home in the evening, I usually try to get some reading done but for the most part I flop in front of the TV and knit some more. I've watched more utter drivel in the last month than I have in the last five years.
My radio silence over the last few months has been driven by two key factors, both of which I've wanted to keep largely to myself but for very different reasons.
The first is I'm betrothed! I turned 30 and was whisked away by my dearheart to Paris, where, while breakfasting on the south bank of the Seine, Matthew clutched my hand nervously as he got down on one knee, produced a diamond-bedecked nose stud and asked me to marry him. I laughed and cried and said yes and it was wonderful. I LOVE being engaged, having an Engagement Freckle is giddingly lovely, but I cannot wait to get married. Marriage is going to be fucking awesome. Matthew is the most wonderful person I have ever known and it is my privilege to be part of his life. While marriage has never been something we've particularly discussed, knowing we're going to do it seems to have made everything brighter, more vivid and more pertinent.
The second thing also brought us closer, but for less awesome reasons. In August I miscarried. It was very early-stage, I couldn't have been more than about three weeks along, and quite unplanned; other than the faintest of faint pink lines on the home pregnancy test, the miscarriage was the one clear confirmation I was pregnant in the first place. Although I can rationally commend my body for rejecting a collection of unhealthy cells, I really wish it had done so less dramatically. Most early-stage miscarriages go practically unnoticed, with none of the symptoms attached. I, on the other hand, had the ginormous boobs, the strange pulling and stretching of my body as it got its womb together, the sudden waves of faintness, the hypersensitivity to smells and taste, the inability to concentrate on anything for more than three minutes... And all of that lingered with sick cruelty for the next six weeks (damn you, nature!). Regardless, it sucks but good things have come out of it: for the ten days between my beginning to think I might be pregnant and the actual miscarriage we both got super excited, which bodes well for when it does happen.
In any case, I've been mostly blogging over at Loumms, but as I've started teaching again and working in-house again, and want to start delving into my personal life again, I'll be here more often. For real this time.