Good things

Today was not a good day. These past couple of weeks I’ve been desperately trying to find a balance, to keep myself going and not get pulled down by the weight of the dissertation and summer isolation in St Andrews. Unfortunately the straw broke the camel’s back.

There have been lots of posts on Facebook recently with people listing three good things that happen to them each day. I don’t feel I should bore my Facebook friends with this and the cynic in me is whispering away – “Alice, you won’t be able to find three good things…”. But I need to focus on positivity at the moment. I absolutely cannot let 15 000 words and an app interface stand between me and being chipper, especially when I’m starting to worry that stress is making me really crabby and/or prone to spontaneous fits of sobbing at the wrong moment.

The only thing you owe other people is your own happiness.

So, very quickly, I’m going to list the good things. As many as possible. The things that are keeping me going, reasons for breathing and reasons for, at a bare minimum, grinning and bearing it.

1. Good food

For the first time in ages I’m actually eating right. Being in a routine is forcing three square meals a day and I’ve finally got ahold of sugar cravings. It’s been a week since I’ve had any proper sugar (excluding fruit/honey) or anything terribly unhealthy and late last night even avoided the temptation of a vending machine while waiting for a bus. The craving has completely gone and I feel, at least for the moment, I’m lacking any desire to binge on food or eat my feelings.

It tasted better than it looks...
It tasted better than it looked

I don’t normally photograph my meals unless they look really amazing or are delicious. This is the definitely the latter – a dinner I had last week of sweet potato chips, mediterranean roasted veg and a cheesy spinach bake thing.


This is part of brunch at a new cafe – the Cottage Kitchen. It was glorious – huge portions, cheap pots of tea and happy conversations.

2. Pull-ups

I escape from the lab by hiding in the gym. It’s nice to know that I might spend every day getting mentally beaten by a computer but when it comes down to it hand us both a sledgehammer and let’s see who comes out victorious. After a few weeks I can now get, I think, halfway to a pull-up before my muscles spasm and I drop to the floor. I’m going to get there if it’s the last thing I do.

3. Sons of Anarchy

Unexpectedly a new love. So good.

4. Friends

If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Think twice before reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.

[Thanks to Marc & Angel for that (the article is full of quotes that make you stop and focus).]

A sad and painful truth and one I’m struggling to embrace. I’m trying so hard to make an effort with people but some attempts are failing and I don’t know when to draw the line to let go. I am now more appreciative and grateful for the friends I have who are here at the moment. I hope I am being as kind and as attentive to them as they are for me. Despite being number four on this list of no order, this one is number one.

5. Tumblr

Tumblr soothes my brain when I’m not working and it’s a social media site I wasn’t expecting to get so sucked into. Pretty, calming pictures can do some serious healing.



This old Victorian greenhouse has to be one of favourites recently. It’s reminiscent of the arboretum at the Botanic Gardens. I also enjoy Chloe Luella, the cat for whom everything is the worst. She even has her own Facebook page.

That’s all I can think of but these are reasons enough to keep going. I suppose it’s the little things.

Is this all there is?

I sit here with a tissue shoved up each nostril melting slowly into a puddle of Lemsip, Earl Grey and digestive biscuits. I haven’t eaten anything but porridge or biscuits for 3 days. That’s not that…

Hello 2016

I definitely overestimated my ability to write here while holding down a full-time job, as well as managing other compulsory life stuff. I think I’ve overestimated my ability to do anything… or at least, it feels like…


    Oh Alice, I completely get the feeling of the crushing dissertation! Hope you find it in you to push through the last stretch that is the month of August! And those sweet potato chips look delicious! 🙂

    Camila –
    Thank you. I think it’s just a difficult time now with only 3 weeks to go. The stress is so much!! And the chips are really easy to make – just chop, throw them in a bowl to coat with olive oil and cayenne/chilli pepper and bake for half an hour at 220 turning them over halfway through!

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