I Can’t Weight to Lose It

Christmas is the time to stuff your face full of shite, but what if you’re paranoid how people see you and are obsessed with wanting to look a certain way, to the point at which it prevents you from going out because you’re so ashamed and anxious?

I’m not having a particularly fantastic day. I’m starting to see the damage of all the junk I’ve been eating and it doesn’t feel all that wonderful. To your average bloke, I probably sound like a woman complaining about this crap, but the fact is, there are plenty of guys who freak out about their weight as well; to be more precise, their perceptible percentage of body fat.

I used to be so thin—people would give me comments as to how thin I was. I didn’t have a great deal of muscle back then (not that I’m huge now) but I was thin! If I could only get back to that, somehow, I’d look so, so much better.

I managed to lose quite a lot of weight a while ago, as well as gaining much more muscle mass. As a 6ft male, I went from approximately 220lbs to 168lbs in under a year, and I never stepped one foot into a gym, unless you count my step-mother’s mini-gym. I worked out at home as I almost always have done, and moderated my food intake drastically. I was counting calories and logging my exercise; it was targeted, organised, and focused.

Now I can just about push myself to do a few pullups, pushups, chinups, use my “power-twister” bar, or jump on my exercise bike, but it’s not enough. All I’m doing is maintaining my weight. This is not progress—I’m stuck.

I’ve lost a big chunk of willpower, again, and it’s eating away at me. I even stopped going on those long walks that went on from an hour to almost 6 hours, through towns and villages, up and down hills; they were absolutely fantastic for me.

At some point I’m going to meet this incredible woman I’ve rambled on about lately—yes, she’s someone I’ve unfortunately so far only met on the line—I also want to look and feel good for her. I want to encourage and support her; share with her some of the strength, purpose, and optimism I’ve felt, but how can I do that properly if I’m being a moany hypocrite?

I have plenty enough knowledge and experience so I know what to do, I’m just struggling to bring myself to do it.

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We’re Under Development

There’s something special about getting to know a new romantic interest; the eventuality of your tough, towering barriers gradually being bashed and worn down to a mere nub. I mean, OK, so obviously that’s a thing, but Lord knows I’ll analyse the crap out of it.

An analogy I used recently, is that we, as an item—a woman and I—are like a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve been getting some of the edge pieces first, because that makes it easier, right? It’s starting to look pretty good, but there’s a huge center and it’s a fairly big puzzle. Every now and again I find a small cluster of pieces that link up and make a little sense on their own, but I just don’t understand where they fit on that mysterious puzzle, as a whole.

I’m not extraordinarily experienced in the world of love or relationships, but I am an observant man whose aim is to learn, not only from my own screw-ups, but from others’. I’ve been in two serious relationships, the remaining few “girls” were either a silly part of my life that I unfortunately regret, something that wasn’t particularly serious, or just from a time when I was rather young.

I say girls, because I really mean not women, but girls. I’ve been single for a few years now, have grown up plenty, and have no interest in “girls” anymore; I’m too old for that shit; they pissed me off to no end with their thirst for drama and backwards, game-playing mentality; it’s a real woman I need.

Those two relationships that really stood out? Well, one was crazy, the other was crazier. This women now is endearingly batshit, yet this time she’s insane enough to be awesome, but has just enough cards in her deck that I’m not awake most nights stressing about her.

Something I’ve learned is not to get too carried away; a little space to think and evaluate the situation can go a long way. It’s really difficult when you like someone so much that all those emotions are flying around your heart and your skull; you can’t make heads nor tails of any of it. It’s so easy to rush; to get distracted by what you want in that moment, versus what you need in the long run.

I sometimes get quite apprehensive; anxious. Am I getting carried away? Sometimes I think I am—perhaps I occasionally distance myself a little. I don’t want to look back one day and feel yet more sodding regret; I have enough of that already. I want this to work, for us both. I’m sick of being alone and feeling like I don’t deserve to be happy, because I do, and she already makes me happy.

“Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness.”Fantastic British movie, Hector and the Search for Happiness, the lead role in which was played by the one and only, Simon Pegg.

It feels especially important that I do this right, because the years are gathering; I really don’t want to go through any further of them, searching or sat waiting for the one. What if that elusive uno can be almost anybody? It might not be an especially romantic notion, but it may well be the most realistic. With care, patience, persistence, understanding, respect, and even hard work, maybe anyone can some day be your singular and you, theirs.

Maybe we can actually happen, but it must be one step at a time. It’s still early days, but as my dad says, “you never know.” When I look in that rear-view mirror, I want to see her smiling, hear her laughter, and appreciate the foreshadow of what’s to happily transpire, not arguments, sadness, and resentment.

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Rant About Other Blokes

I find some other males to often do my head in, to the point at which I sometimes prefer female friends, as crazy as they might well be! Yes, I am straight—surprisingly?

With blokes (regretfully, I include myself here) it can be all that alpha/beta, macho, competitive, shallow bullcrap, and that seriously gets old when you just want to have a decent conversation with a mate that isn’t merely small-talk or about how big your … workbench is.

It’s wired into us, but I guess it varies just how much some of us act on it; variation in testosterone levels, or what I’d consider to be acceptable societal and parental conditioning, perhaps?

Then there’s all the “I’m too manly to actually have a meaningful conversation so all I’ll do is grunt and talk about boobs.” Meanwhile, the guys like me who actually have feelings—albeit often repressed—are left thumping our skulls against the wall, trying to deal with apes who like to refer to you as a vagina every other sentence in a desperate and disastrous attempt to sound cool or hard.

Yet we wonder why women get frustrated with us men?

I haven’t a clue how I came to be this way—maybe it’s my long-standing appreciation for neutrality—but I’m often glad to be such a “different” sort of guy, because I’d hate to be that type. I’m sorry to let the team down, but there’s plenty of us out there.

The thing is, there are times when I don’t even like being a male, because I want to be better than what makes us weak, but it’d be no different if I were a woman, for my view is that both genders are utterly whack.

I’m obsessed with trying to be better; to rise above our basic, ape-like urges. I’m fighting a losing battle, but I’ll for-sure keep trying.

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My Xmas Isn’t Always Merry

I guess it’s that time of the year again, and if anyone is anyone, they’ll be blogging, posting on Facebook, bugging their friends, and generally letting the world know how their Christmas will be, has been, and was; I’m not about to detract from such a great tradition!

I suppose it goes without saying that Christmas isn’t always merry for everybody, and, as I was reminded recently by a woman who came to my door trying to get money from me, people with mental health problems can have a pretty crappy time at Christmas.

I’ve been there myself, and I think I still go there. I feel all depressed, alone, hopeless, aimless, lustlos, and just go about my business waiting for the end of Christmas, so I can go back to my usual, crappy, kacke claptrap.

Not this Christmas. So far, I’m having a good one, but it is a very lonely one. A woman online—someone pretty remarkable who I hope will one day be in my life to a much a larger extent—has been fantastic, but she has stuff to do, family to see, places to go; obviously, that’s fine, but it sucks for little old me. Do I sound clingy and needy? Hope not.

I’m going to visit my dad and stepmother soon, just as soon as they’re available; they’re with family too. Frustratingly, the only way I could get that feel-good sense of family is by drowning in cigarette smoke, putting my life on the line; not worth it!

I don’t care how OTT you think I am, or how absurd you think it is, I don’t want cancer and there’s simply no need to risk it all just to appease social protocol, but I digress.

My step-mother’s parents host a lovely dinner but at the cost of the house rarely having its windows open, and living room being caked in cigarette poison; no thanks.

I’m looking forward to seeing my dad, since, after all, it’s Christmas! Just a shame it has to be the evening, and not for long at that, unless I want to come home very late, which I don’t.

Last night I got very drunk on plenty of rum and chatted to the aforementioned woman aplenty, which was fun! I feel like I’ve actually celebrated Christmas for a change, but it’s not over yet.

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Gamification und Gamifizieren [ENG/GER]

Ich benutze Spiele hin und wieder um mein Deutsch zu verbessern, aber es ist nicht die volle Geschichte. Warum? Na, weil ich noch viele Arbeit machen muss, die Worte und die Grammatik zu lernen. Davon suche ich bei Google und anderen Seiten nach die Sinn und Klarheit der Wörtern und so.

Das Gute über das Lernen einer Sprache beim Spielen eines Spiels auf die Sprache die man lernen willst, ist, dass man etwas neues vielmals wieder lesen und hören kann, was sehr hilfreich ist, da der Fokus auf die Erinnerung von etwas liegt.

Repetition is key, sag ich immer. Warum nicht lernen und spielen gleichzeitig?

Auch gibt es etwas anderes, an das man denken könnte, …but I’ll explain in English. It’s just tricky for me to explain this in German:

As I understand it, basically, (or not) when we achieve something, our brain releases a chemical called Dopamine; the feel-good chemical. We have it wired into us that when we achieve something, we feel good. It makes sense for our survival, when you think about it: if a tiger were to chase us, then we got away, I’d imagine we’d feel pretty damn good about it! It has encouraged us to devise new ways by which to survive, and even to attract a mate in order to reproduce and, ultimately, survive.

So, what I’m getting at here, is that if you feel good about discovering or understanding something new or challenging, there’s a good chance that thing will stick, because it’s important to us. You can look at it as survival or the simpler psychology of something having meaning to us on a level deep enough that we’d remember, such as associating words with something that is important to us, emotionally. Ever notice how we easily remember the bad stuff? It’s because it sucks! Sometimes so hard that you cannot forget it; it seems to have, at least sometimes, the most impact.

The reason all this is so important for learning via gaming, is because gaming can often illicit emotional responses, such as excitement, a sense of reward or accomplishment, anger, fear, and so on; these are key to remembering something because it’s not just a word, it’s a feeling. This goes doubly so when you incorperate all this, socially, into an MMORPG in which there are many opportunities to “feel” and therefore learn, not to mention cooperate.

Bit rambly, but I hope you get the Idee.

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Meine deutsche Notizen #2

Hier bin ich schon wieder. Hoffe die erste Seite dir hilft und natürlich die anderen.

Ich hatte gestern die Idee dass ich Leuten mit ihrem Englisch helfen könnte, also wenn hier jemand darauf Interesse hat, sag in einem Kommentar bescheid, damit ich behilflich sein kann.


verbleiben = remaining. Bleiben = remaining. Ich finde diese Worte sind durcheinander, weil sie so ähnlich erscheinen.

In einem Spiel, das ich eine weile her spielte, sagte ein Mann laut “bleib bei mir” zu jemandem wer sterben wird. Also glaub ich mir dass hier “verbleib bei mir!” nicht passen würde, und sich seltsam anhört würde. Verbleiben, in diesem Kontext, bedeutet vielleicht was anderes.

Hmm, es kann sein, dass verbleiben remain ist und bleiben einfach stay ist, in einer einfachen Weise. Ich sehe auch das Wort verbleiben, die Bedeutung “continue” zu haben,  im Beruf oder in Arbeit verbleiben, zum Beispiel.

Och! Das versteht sich! Wenn mein Handy mir gesagt, dass eine Zeit der Akkuleistung (die Batterie) verbleibt, bedeutet es, dass ich noch ein Prozentanteil hab, das Handy noch zu benutzen! Also wird verbleiben ins continue oder remain übersetzt. Endlich.

Ich verstehe den Sinn in dem man jemandem bleib bei mir sagen würde und nicht verbleib bei mir, weil es sich möglicherweise zu formal anhört. Oder?

Wenn jemand vor mir sterben wird, würde ich bestimmt nicht laut “continue with me!” sagen. Hah. So würde es sich komisch anhören. Stattdessen würde ich einfach laut “stay with me!” sagen. Leicht, hoffentlich.

Was zufälliges… man kann bleib an meiner Seite sagen, zu einer Person, auf die jemand eine Lieb-Interesse hat.


jdm (etwas) raten. Diese Sache ist sehr nützlich! Insbesondere, wenn man jemandem etwas empfohlen möchte. Füge ein ab- hinter raten hinzu, damit man etwas nicht raten will. Zum Beispiel, ich rate dir, dass du das nicht machst. I suggest you don’t do that.

Ich rate dir ab, dass du das machst. Bedeutet eigentlich das gleiche wie das obigene Beispiel, weil “ab” es Negativ werden macht, something against which to advise.

Benutze das zu-Wort, damit man etwas bestimmtes zu jemandem empfehlen kann. Zum Beispiel: ich rate dir dazu, in die Schule zu gehen. Nich sicher ob das richtiges Deutsch ist, oder einfach standard, denn ich bin mit der Weise die man so eine Präposition vor dem Nebensatz erstellt, noch nicht so vertraut.


verhindern = prevent außer mit Sex. verhüten = protect/cover (nur in der Weise von Sex, also contraception.) Ich verhütet = I used a contraceptive. Das Verhütungsmittel = the contraceptive.

etwas unterlassen ist eine ähnliche Sache die bedeutet: to abstain or refrain from doing something, so in der Art von preventing oneself from doing something. Von etwas abhalten (oder ablassen) ist auch eine ähnliche Sache die fast das gleiche bedeutet.

Man kann sich auch von etwas zurückhalten; sich von etwas zurückhalten = to hold back from doing something. Oder, man kann jemanden (in der Stelle von sich) von etwas zurückhalten.

Ich halte mich zurück davon, in die Kino zu gehen, denn es is zu teuer! Wenn “davon” nicht richtig ist, dann würde ich es statt in dem Hauptsatz sagen, wenn möglich.


Das Wort kommen hat so viele Benutzungen, ein paar davon zeig ich dir unten:

jdm blöd kommen = to fuck, diss, or mess with somebody. Zum Beispiel: Komme mir nicht so blöd! Stattdessen kann man dumm oder was anderes sagen. “ich komme mir dumm vor” = sowas wie I feel stupid. “ich kam mir dumm vor” = das gleiche aber in der Vergangenheit.

Um einen Orgasmus haben zu sagen, sagt man das Verb auch kommen, wie auf Englisch mit dem Wort “cum”; es tut mir leid dass ich hier so vulgär sein bin, es lohnt sich aber zu wissen.

ankommen = to arrive. Ich komme dort an = I arrive oder am arriving there. Dort werde ich ankommen = I will be arriving there. Zu einer Idee ankommen.

Wie kommt es, dass… (zB: wie kommt, dass das Auto so teuer ist?) oder wie kommt es dazu… (zB: wie kommt es zu regen; ich glaub wenn das Verb wird ein Nomen, sagt man zu dem oder natürlich zum) sehr nützliche Art (und Weise?) zu sagen, how come that oder how does it come to that? So in der Art.

Ich komme auf etwas = I remember something, wörtlich: to come to something, zB eine Idee oder Lösung. Auf etwas kommen. Kommst du auf die Zeit, als du ein Kind warst? Bin mir nicht 100% sicher ob dieser Satz richtig ist, sollte aber in der Nähe sein.

Auf etwas kommen = to achieve something. Weiß nicht wie man diese Bedeutungen als andere Ideen verstehen kann, hängt vielleicht von dem Kontext ab.

Wenn man mitmacht, kommt er dazu! Einfach, oder? dazu kommen = to join in. Ich komme dir zu = I join in with you. Wie oft, weiß ich ganz nicht ob das richtig ist, das mit der Wortstellung. Sollte aber stimmen.

Es gibt noch mehre Weise kommen zu benutzen, werde ich betrunken und müde also hab ich nicht mehr Lust das alles zu erklären. Prost!

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Meine deutsche Notizen #1

Eine weile her, hatte ich viele deutsche Notizen, in denen ich viele deutsche Sachen schreibte, nützliche Sachen an denen ich mich erinnern wollte. Leider verschwunden sie sich weit weg, dank der Eigenschaft von Facebook, die uns eine Sicherungs erstellen lässt. Facebook sicherte für mich doch nicht alle Dateien!

Nun werde ich fangen, die Notizen auf diesem Blog anzusparen, in der Hoffnung, dass ich mir und auch euch allen helfen kann!

Wenn es dir nicht gefällt, dass ich diese Notizen meist auf Deutsch schreibe, sag bescheid. Wenn genügende Leute mir sagen, dass sie es lieber auf Englisch lesen würden, dann werde ichs natürlich ändern.


die Eile = the hurry (sich beeilen = to hurry something or someone) Es scheint mir, dass man etwas eilen kann, aber es passt gar nicht bei dem Wort sich. Ich eile, wenn ich fahre. Ich beeile mich, wenn ich fahre. Beide Beispiele scheinbar passen.

Es gibt noch weitere Weise, die man “beeile dich!” sagen kann, zB: “mach schnell!” und “Mach hin!” und “Komm schon!” oder “Mach schon!” Vielleicht gibt es noch mehrere Weise dazu auszudrücken, aber diese sind die meist geübte Weise, so hab ich gefunden.


brechen = break, verbrechen = to fully break; commit a crime. Das Verb ist “never used”, so sagt das Blog GiE. Der Verbrecher = the criminal (male), das Verbrechen = the crime. Ich hab verbrechen = I’ve committed a crime.

Man kann einen Knochen in seinem Körper brechen. Man kann auch etwas brechen, wie etwas zu breach. Ich glaub man kann einen Vertrag brechen, danach werden er ein Verbrecher. Klingt mir richtig.


In der Verfassung, etwas zu machen = to be in (the) condition to do something. Verfassung = constitution oder condition. Etwas verfassen = to draw/write something up.

ZB: “Ich bin heute nicht in der Verfassung, trainieren zu gehen.” Dank GiE für diese Information, ein tolles Blog von dem man vieles über Deutsch lernen kann.

Bin mir nicht sicher ob es richtig ist, aber es scheint mir, wenn es ins Englisch gut übersetzt, dass man “bin in keiner Verfassung” sagen kann, oder vielleicht wie in keiner guten Verfassung oder so ähnlich.


an etwas teilnehmen = to take part in something oder to participate in something. Der Teilnehmer = the participant. ZB, wenn ichs richtig verstehe: ich teilnehme an das Schreiben dieser Blog-Einträgen.

das Teil = the part, zB, das Teil eines Satzes, ein Teil in einem Film, das mir gefällt. Ein Teil von jemandem, das ich mag.

Nehmen = to take, ich nehme einen Hund in den Garten. Ich nahm ihr mit, wenn ich einkaufen ging. Usw.


verwandt = related, mit jdm verwandt = related to somebody, mit etwas verwandten = to relate to something. Ich verwandte oder verwendete = I used, verwenden = use, Präsens, verwandten = used, Präteritum.

Weiß ganz nicht, ob man das so benutzen kann, aber dict.cc zeigt uns, dass es “akin to” sein kann, wenn es mit etwas verdandt ist.


einen Kurs übernehmen. Weiß genau nicht ob es wie einen Kurs in der Schule gemeint ist, aber ich denk ich hab diese Weise schon einmal gesehen oder gehört, also werde ichs meist benutzen.

Es gibt noch eine weitere Weise dazu sagen: an einem Lehrgang teilnehmen. To take part in a course. Ich versteh nicht warum es hier Lehrgang gibt, an Stelle von dem Wort Kurs… ich frag mich nun ob beide Worte passen würden.

Ich übernahm einen Deutschkurs. Ich glaub schon das ist die richtige Weise dazu sagen, aber ich bin mir nicht sicher. Es kann sein, dass das Wort über am Ende des Satzes eingegeben sollte. Hoffentlich werde ich es nach einiger Zeit herausfinden.


Viel Glück oder Spaß mit oder bei etwas? Es hängt davon ab, ob es eine Aktion gibt oder nicht. Insbesondere eine Bewegung wie schwimmen, singen, laufen, usw, auch wenn es ein Substantiv ist.

Viel Glück mit dem Spiel, das du gerade gekauft hast. Viel Glück bei dem Lernen der deutschen Sprache. Hier ist Lernen die Aktion.

“Bei, nimmst du, wenn der Fokus auf einer Aktion liegt.” – sagte GiE auf seiner Facebook-Seite. Dies zeigt uns auch, man kann der Fokus auf etwas sagen kann, was auch sehr nützlich ist. Merke, das mit Fokus ist im Dativ.


In der Stimmung, etwas zu machen. Man kann auch in der richtigen Stimmung sein, etwas zu machen. Ich bin in der Stimmung, draußen zu gehen, einen Film im Kino zu schauen, zum Beispiel.

die Lust auf etwas haben, oder den Bock auf etwas haben. Beide sind richtig, aber das letzte sagten normalerweise die Kinder oder einfach die junge Leute.

Wenn man etwas machen will, wollte er, das zu machen. Ich habe Lust, draußen zu gehen. Ich habe den Bock, draußen zu gehen. Ich habe keine Lust, draußen zu gehen. Willst du draußen gehen? Es gibt vielleicht mehere Weise das auszudrücken.

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Whisper Sweet Nothings

Come on, it’s a thing and you know it! Don’t be shy now.

It’s so personal and private; just between you and another person. There’s something about having a woman inside my skull, her voice gently bouncing around, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I was recently lying in bed, all warm and comfy, talking to her on the phone using Skype, when she started whispering softly to me and it just made me melt; I felt as though I were dissolving into the mattress and my brain were fluttering away into the sky.

I was just listening to part of a podcast in which they talked about ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a “neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation” in various parts of the body, so says Wiki. I had never heard of it before, but I assure you I have experienced such bizarre but comfortable sensations.

There are even videos online of people whispering just for your deeply depraved pleasure. Search for it on YouTube, I dare you.

It doesn’t have to be a sexual thing! Don’t get me wrong, it can be like that, but it can also be sweet and comforting; to me, it feels more intimate than the regular voice. Although there is also talking in a quieter, deeper voice; the bed voice.

You can even just talk about the weather, what you did today, or your plans for tomorrow; you might be pleasantly surprised how nice it is to hear.

A common stimulus for ASMR is, unsurprisingly, the sound of someone whispering, according to Wiki, so consider whispering softly once in a while; you may find his or her ears will be thankful.

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Mind the Supported Housing #6

I thought I was done with this crap, but apparently Mind insist on making things difficult. A few days ago, I was called up by my support worker and told that someone would be staying with me for a couple of weeks, as per an emergency with his flat being flooded; it sucks, but fair enough.

The guy comes over, the sort that makes you think “one of those guys”, with his try-hard outfit you’d expect from a skaterboi. I persevered, especially when my support worker told my dad and me that he was only to stay for one day, after which he’s staying with his grandparents or something.

The guy left the next morning, and that was the end of that; I was relieved. I’ve been getting used to living alone and enjoying the benefits, particularly not having to worry about some other guy’s mess, and the privacy is a huge bonus.

I get woken up at approximately ten in the morning by my support worker relentlessly knocking on my front door. I sleepily get dressed, having had less than six hours sleep because I struggle at night and have been staying up late for reasons probably mentioned elsewhere. She is fully aware that I struggle in this way.

My support worker was just “passing by” and thought to quickly ask me whether the new guy left OK, whether things were alright, and that’s all I really remember because I was half asleep, anxious, and irritated for being woken up by loud banging noises echoing through the flat.

I’m having a nice late-night conversation with woman over Skype, when, midnight, someone opens the front door and the other bedroom door with the keys. I didn’t know for sure who it was; for all I knew, it could’ve been someone who got a hold of the keys and was trying to swipe stuff.

I was immediately anxious, got dressed, and went through to see who it was. Although I never saw the person, I could smell the cigarette smoke and figured it was probably just the same guy, and that my support worker screwed up again—ding, ding, ding!

I told my dad the next morning; he was worried and called a nearby Mind office. I texted my support worker, and later got a call from another woman, also a support worker, who apologised and explained that it isn’t what they would “usually do” but given the circumstance, it’s only going to be temporary.

I thought, OK, so the guy has, up until now, been clean and relatively quiet, despite waking me up twice at quarter-to-seven in the morning, which, for me, is insanely early.

He left the hall light and kitchen light on for hours last night. I left the lights be thinking he was maybe in the kitchen, but later on I went through and he wasn’t there. I turned the lights off—he must’ve fallen asleep.

In the kitchen? Crumbs over the cooker top, a dirty, empty tin on the worktop by the bin, as opposed to simply in the sodding bin, and a used bowl and glass left in the sink. Am I meant to clean up his mess? Disrespectful. He has to clean up after himself just as I do—I’m not his daddy.

I sent my support worker a text earlier, ‘though I expect it’ll go largely unnoticed: “he left mess last night, then buggered off out this morning,” then I explained what he left behind, and continued, “am I to clean up after him?” No reply yet, but we’ll see.

I’m sick of supported housing, I’m sick of flatmates, and I sincerely miss having an actual home. I’m getting heart-palpitations just typing this out.

Part 7 can be found via this link!

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Xmas Shopping for Her

Who knew it could be so much fun?

As has been previously mentioned on the blog, a little while ago, I got to know someone special with whom I now get on swimmingly, despite us being a few cards short of a deck. We’re now doing a secret Santa-type thing, which involves us sending each other a box in which we’ll pack a bunch of small, random bits and bobs.

I bought her a bunch of stuff just now, one item in particular that oozes mushiness. I didn’t go overboard, as we’ve settled on a price limit which translates to less in our currency, but I’ll make it work, even if I spill over slightly. I got things she can’t get where she’s living, and I believe she’s planning on doing the same.

I looked at all sorts of stuff, particularly things with an emphasis on Britland, and kit she likes based on what I know about her. I find the charity shops tend to have a lot of the knick-knacks that she’s into, such as the hard-to-find vintage gear. Some old stuff is surprisingly still in very good condition, and it’s an added bonus that it’s often cheap!

I did look at jewellery, but that stuff is a minefield; it’s either a hit or a complete miss. I’d need to analyse the crap out of her current jewellery and find out her favorite bling. I’ll have a gander and see what I can figure out.

The Xmas lights are hung up around town and it looks pretty in the evening, contrasting nicely against the dark, moonlit sky. The cold weather and the busy streets is an oddly-nice reminder that it’s nearing that time of the year. All that’s missing is that old Xmas tune that gets drilled into your skull whenever you enter a shop—Slade anyone?

I’ve just worked out what I spent and I’ve cuddled up tightly to that limit, but I need to go out again to get the box and find out how it works over here in England, as well as the delivery charge, which is sadly quite a lot; thanks, Royal Mail.

I’ll likely see if I can grab a few more things to squeeze every penny out of this thing, besides, I admit, this is kinda fun.

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