Melancholy, mushrooms, and reluctant mediums… Here’s some different things I’ve been thinking a lot about this past month. Maybe there’s something here to interest you too?

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY, ANOTHER LOCKDOWN, ANOTHER LOW POINT

This month has been tough. We’re still in lockdown, and the grind has gotten me properly down. My anxiety towards the end of this month has been worse than it has been in years – rolling panic attacks are about as fun as they sound.

I was chatting with a good friend in the UK and she referred to the emotional load she feels as a mum as ‘the running ticker tape’ in her head. I think when you’re prone to anxiety or depression, running ticker tape is a good way to describe too the onslaught of negativity that constantly chatters away in your brain, sustaining your ill mood and pushing you further into despair. It tells you that you’re a waste, that you’re a failure, that you’re useless and ugly and stupid and a laughing stock and completely unworthy of basically anything. Again, it’s about as fun as it sounds. Intellectually, I know it’s all lies, or at least highly unhelpful, but emotionally, it’s hard not to believe your own brain.

Weirdly, I was able to get through quite a lot of work – it’s amazing how a hard deadline can motivate even the most maudlin of us. And often, a good sleep helped. Though that can prove elusive when you find yourself waking up routinely at 2 or 3 in the morning for no good damn reason. There were days which I knew I really should have just called someone, anyone, and let them know I wasn’t in the best frame of mind, but you just don’t, do you? It’s such a cruel irony than when you most need a little helping hand is the same time you feel incapable or terrified of reaching out. Ugh.

For what it’s worth, I feel mostly better today. Other than a little dip in confidence after seeing the latest triumph of some people who were not very nice to me splashed all over social media (never great for one’s general mood), I didn’t let it spiral me down too far. I got shit to do, you know? And if you find yourself feeling a bit (or quite a lot) rubbish, don’t do what I do – call a mate. Even if you can’t bring yourself to tell them that you feel rubbish, call them and talk some useless shit and have a giggle. It’s worth it.

MUSHROOM MADNESS

Everyone’s been looking for ways to amuse themselves at home during the pandemic. We all became plant people, or pet people, or jigsaw people, or TikTok people. As we slowly (so slowly) creep towards the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, I’ve found myself to be a mushroom person. As in someone who grows mushrooms at home. The gourmet kind, not the magic kind. Though they are pretty magical if I’m honest.

I bought a kit off the net and off I went. Mushroom kits these days aren’t the kind of mould-prone, button mushroom boxes your parents used to keep under the laundry sink when you were a kid; they’re cute, kitchen friendly, oyster mushroom growing boxes of wonder. And these babies grow FAST. And they are BEAUTIFUL. Deeply unsettling if you think about them too much (like I did one night resulting in not very pleasant dreams) but very cool, and yes, very, very edible. I have no idea how long my obsession will last, but it’s been really heartening to see these bizarre growths triumph on top of my fridge without me doing almost anything at all…

SCREEN TIME

So much television this past month. Highlights include:

A whole new series of Lucifer which I didn’t know was coming! I had thought I’d watched the last season of the series a few months ago, but thankfully, this actual last season was as ridiculous and silly as one has come to expect from Lucifer, and ended on a far more satisfying note than the previous, not final season.

Sex Education came roaring back with it’s third season and did not disappoint. I was not terribly moved by the first couple of episodes – mainly due to the obvious and uninspiring characterisation of the new headmaster – but it picked up big time with some wonderful stuff for most of the young cast as well as Gillian Anderson’s Jean and Mikael Persbrandt’s Jakob.

RuPaul’s Never-ending Drag Race does not seem to ever end with various international series timed to start as soon as another finishes. The UK, Holland, Spain, All Stars, the list goes on… Honestly, Mama Ru is the only reason I haven’t cut off my subscription to Stan yet…

HOWEVER.

The unexpected highlight this month comes in the form of a little known Irish indie, the supernatural rom-com film Extra Ordinary. I watched this as the kooky and marvellous Claudia O’Doherty is in it, but was introduced to the even more kooky and marvellous star Maeve Higgins, who’s totally endearing in this as a reluctant psychic medium and driving instructor. Reminiscent of Wellington Paranormal in its humour, this small but bonkers tale about a woman learning to (literally) face the ghosts of her past while falling for a man haunted by his abusive dead wife and trying to save his daughter from satanic sacrifice was such a refreshing breath of fresh air. Having said that, there are parts of this film that are quite stupid, graphically gross yet completely endearing, so I doubt it’s for everyone. But definitely for me!

Stay safe, lovelies x

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