After we pet the kitties, we walked to the St. Paul’s area for lunch at Hush Brasserie.  I had a wine spritzer and a chicken Caesar salad, and Steph and I shared truffle fries with parmesan.

2015-10-08 14.53.562015-10-08 15.01.37

 

Afterwards, I took a few pictures before we headed back to the hotel so I could get ready for Hamlet.

2015-10-08 15.50.24

Once I got to the Barbican, I got myself a water, a snack, and a program and sat down to people watch.  I missed breaking my drink tradition before the play but I was still worried with the random allergic reactions and the fact that I knew there was a long way to go before the interval, and booze wouldn’t help that.  I made sure to take a dorky pre-theatre selfie.

2015-10-08 18.36.33

Once we were allowed in the theatre, I went in and sat down.  I had been third row for Much Ado About Nothing, and maybe 8th row for To Kill A Mockingbird.  However, tonight, second row here felt, very, very close.  This was really emphasised once the screen went up and I could see the stage.  I was astonished.  It was the most elaborate stage I have ever seen.  I had a hard time taking it all in *and* watching Benedict, so I had to stop watching him and take a moment to take in everything I could.  Unfortunately from my seat, I couldn’t see the entire stage, especially the centre and where it went all the way back.  Luckily, this didn’t take away from the absolute brilliance of the performance.  I was completely transfixed and couldn’t believe how much time had passed once it was time for the interval.  I really hope that I get to see it in the encore performance in the cinema so I can get a different perspective.

After, I did go out for stage door, but I didn’t have any expectations (especially considering when I got there before the performance, people were already queuing up).  I did see Benedict as he signed for people across from us, but I was more shocked at some of the behaviours of the fans, to be honest.  I’m not going to talk about that here, but let’s just say I was not impressed by how some people were acting.

By that point, Steph had come to meet me and we walked back to the hotel.  She had gone to Whole Foods and got me sandwich fixings, which I hungrily ate as I checked my messages.  She got me this as part of my birthday present (so I had something to open).

2015-10-08 23.42.43

Friday was our last day in London.  I didn’t have any specific desires or plans, so we left our bags at the hotel and just walked around the Southbank area after getting another coffee at the Coffeeworks project.

2015-10-09 12.34.202015-10-09 12.58.30

 

For lunch we went to Wahaca for fish tacos.  I had been craving them for days and I could have eaten twice the amount I had!

2015-10-09 13.52.36

After, we walked around a bit, poked a bit into Borough Market and then headed to Hummingbird Bakery for a birthday cupcake.

2015-10-09 14.39.10 2015-10-09 14.59.05

2015-10-09 15.00.20

 

My cupcake was delicious!  I wish I had taken a second one to bring home!

2015-10-09 16.06.17

After we went to pick up our bags before heading to Euston and the train home.

So, that’s it.  I wish the trip could have been a bit longer, so I could have done some things/seen some sights I have yet to see, but hopefully there will be time for that in the future.  I was so glad to have been able to spend my birthday this way.

Hello there!  I’ve been absent, I know.  I’ve been terribly busy, but that really is no excuse, as I have time to waste lots of time on the internet doing other things.  Anyways. . . what have I been up to?

1. I took a quick trip to London.

It was just a quick overnight jaunt, but it was incredible.  I went down to see Three Days in the Country (which if you know me, that should be no surprise.)  The play is absolutely amazing; both Mark Gatiss and John Simm were brilliant!  And I had a great seat with a perfect view of Mark’s  . . . .assets.  😉  I really need to spend a day writing up all my theatre trips this year!

After the play, this happened.  🙂

2015-08-05 21.51.11-2

 

 

2.  I’ve been training for a half-marathon!

I’ve been doing a lot of running!  I’ve just started week 8 of my training plan, and I feel pretty good.  Tired, but good.  Also, rungry!  I’m actually pretty impressed with myself as I’ve only missed one training run in the 7 weeks that I’ve been training.  I rolled my ankle on week 6, so I took a day off to make sure I hadn’t mangled it again.  It was a bit tender, but it didn’t swell or bruise.  Ice and resting helped it, and I was fine to continue on.

3.  I’ve been writing.  And writing.  And even more writing.

My thesis has been progressing.  Not with any amazing speed of course, but progressing all the same.  I have my secondary annual review in 10 days, so I’m freaking the fuck out, basically.  I have to get this chapter finished by the 9th and I am feeling a tiny bit hopeful.  If all goes well, I will be able to finish up my PhD.  If not, well, I don’t want to talk about it right now.

4. I went to the Doctor Who series 9 premiere!

With all the running and all the writing I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for fun (not since I saw Three Days in the Country).  I’ve been pretty focused on getting my work done, so it was nice to take last Thursday to first get my hair done, and then pop over to Edinburgh for the premiere.

The episode was brilliant, and that’s all I’m allowed to say.  🙂

Afterward, there was a Q&A with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, which was pretty cool.

CNcaTmHWEAE0w5W

 

I can’t wait to watch the episode again on September 19th.

Other than that, my life has been rather boring.  I hope to start planning my 40th birthday theatrepalooza very soon (Yay Hamlet!  Yay Three Days in the Country!  Yay high tea on my birthday!), and will share all the plans as soon as they are made.

 

Here’s a random Bailey 🙂

2015-08-25 21.17.07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh and if you’re interested, new hair

2015-08-29 13.57.48

In my last post, I was fairly sure my time here in Scotland was coming to an end.  It’s been a very stressful time here; I spent about a month staring alternately at the telly or reading copious amounts of Mystrade.  (My current coping mechanisms.)

Since I wrote that post, I have made my peace with the entire situation.  However, somehow, I was granted a miracle, and my funds were released today.

Benedict-Cumberbatch-saying-thank-you-as-Sherlock-GIF

 

I have a lot to say about that entire situation as well, but as this is a very public place, I find I need to keep my mouth shut about a lot of what went on in case it comes back and bites me in the arse.

That being said, it is not all sunshine and roses.  I have until September to make some serious improvements to my thesis.  If these improvements are not made, then I will be asked to withdraw.  Like I said above, I’ve made my peace with this situation.

At this point, I lack little confidence in addressing the issues with my thesis.  It’s not down to wanting it, it seems to be more along the lines that I seem to have reached the threshold of my intelligence.  I do not seem to be able to grasp what is being asked of me.  I am working to try to get some private assistance, but am unsure as to where to find such a thing/person.  I’m at the point where I can try all I want, and put in a lot of effort and not have anything to show for it.  Again, I’ve accepted this and to be honest I am ok with it either way.

If I finally “get it” and am able to continue on and finish, then that’s great.  If not, well, then it’s time to rejoin the working world.

So I will be spending this summer trying my hardest to do this, despite the fact that I still feel very unsure about what I am doing.

I am happy that I will have my 40th birthday in London either way.  I have that to look forward to at least.  🙂

 

On the running front, I’m injured right now, which is a bit frustrating as I seriously could run out my frustrations right now, but alas that isn’t going to happen right now.  My calf pull/pop is better than last week.  I did go out yesterday to see, and made it about 2 feet before noping back home.  I will try again later this week and see how it goes.  In the meantime, lifting and walking are my current workouts du jour.

 

And here’s a recent picture of Bailey.  We’ve had him for a year now.  🙂

 

2015-06-05 23.06.19

That pretty much sums up my situation right now.   Basically I’ve worked (harder some times than others) on my PhD for the past 3 years and my supervisors are now saying I don’t have a thesis.  They are not saying I’ve made sufficient progress, and therefore I may not be getting my loans in January. (I can’t confirm or deny this as it’s Christmas and I can’t find out until the beginning of the year.)  The university is fine with me taking more time, but without money, there is no time.  No loans = no money= no studies = Cindy is basically fucked.  Not to mention the lack of visa.  🙁

So right now I am expected to write all of this theory (most of which I don’t understand, which is another issue altogether when you realise you aren’t as smart as you thought you were; that or the Topomax REALLY fucked up my brain) and carry on with everything.  Which is hard to do, as I am losing time I could be using to sell all my belongings for money or looking for jobs (not that anyone will hire me as I don’t have any experience over the past 4 years and I don’t have any references from this decade- and I would need pretty much some sort of relocation allowance so hahahahahaha on me) since my future is so up in the air.

I didn’t want to talk about this, as it’s Christmas, and well, I don’t really want people feeling sorry for me.  And. . . . well I feel ashamed.  I’ve wasted 3 years of my life on this, and now I’m going to be 40 and I have nothing to show for it but over $100K worth of student debt, no money, no partner, no job, and no foreseeable future.  The future I had envisioned after the PhD is long gone now, and it’s really hard to think of a job I could possibly get hired at.  But I suppose, at nearly 40, I have to be accountable for my own actions.

In the end. . .

Basically . . .

 

I have a life here (Well sort of.  I am having serious regrets about how I spent and wasted my time here and the lack of connections I made and how I wasted so, so much time.)  I have bills and a flat and Bailey and I don’t want to leave all of that behind, at least quickly.  So, no matter what happens it is my plan to stay here as long as I possibly can (not to mention my 40th birthday plans, please don’t make me give those up please please please).    Steph deserves that bit of courtesy at least.

So this is how I’m spending Christmas:  trying to write a whole bunch of words in the most intellectual way as possible and applying for as many jobs as I can and hoping no one is looking for references until after the new year, when maybe I can find someone who would be willing to write a letter.

Two weeks ago I had a chance to attend a book signing/talk that should have inspired me to be a better me.  Instead I left needing time to reflect.  And now, after a few days I feel lower than usual.   I feel at nearly 40, I’m an absolute failure.

 

When I was 16 and working at Filene’s Basement, I worked with a few women who were in their early 20’s and I thought they were so glamorous and lived such exciting lives.  I couldn’t wait to be 21.

When I was 21 I was still an undergrad.  I was still trying to figure out my life.  I certainly wasn’t going out to clubs and bars and having a good time.  I was completely screwed up emotionally.

I wanted more; I wanted stability and love and marriage.  I figured by the time I was 25 I’d have it all wrapped up.

When I was 25 I was dating (someone I now refer to as) “the one who got away.”  I thought he was the one.  I thought we were going to be together.  We had been living together (until he asked me to move out) and I hoped we could reconcile and make it work out.  I wanted to be engaged and married and start a family; we already had 2 cats together.  I figured by the time I was 30, I would have it all figured out.  I’d have a a husband and a career and kids.  I’d have amazing mom friends and a perfect house.

By the time I was 30, I was an absolute mess.  I had ended the relationship with the one who got away and dated and got engaged to someone else.  I spent 4 years trying to fix him, to make him the man I thought he could be.  I was an idiot.  You can’t fix hate that’s been learned (at least I couldn’t do it).

I had gained back all the weight I worked hard to lose.  I was fat (again) and hated myself (still).

I was single, living in my childhood bedroom in my parents house with my cat.  I was single, miserable, and on the verge of bankruptcy.  I didn’t have many friends.  And despite having earned my first Masters degree the year before, I had a crummy job and could hardly support myself.  I figured by the time I was 35, I would have to have it figured out.

By the time I was 35, my life had taken a major turn.  I moved to Scotland to pursue my second Masters degree since I still had been unable to find a full time teaching job.  It was an amazing decision and I don’t regret it, but I was lonely.  I didn’t make any friends, and the stresses of the year were overwhelming.

I was still fat and frustrated and wishing I had made better food choices; I felt like I had let my body down after (cosmetic) surgery.

Right now at 38 and change?  Well, I’m going to be 40 in a little more than a year and I am not happy with my life.  I say I am happy with who I am (and in some ways I am) but I’m sad overall.  I haven’t really made friends here (my own fault), I’ve been single for over a decade.  I haven’t had sex in over a decade and I think it’s starting to get to me (you think?)!

I’ve had a rough few years here in Scotland; I’ve lost both my parents and a beloved pet.  I’ve lost weight, gained weight, had the never ending headache issue.  I’ve struggled with my thesis, with motivation, with getting out of bed.

The PhD has been one issue after another.  I’ve contemplated a break; taking a holiday or leaving flat out.  I am sticking with it right now, but there are days when I want to run away.

And with all of that, I have no idea how I am supposed to go about getting the life I want.  I know what I want for the future and where I want to be when I am done with my PhD.  I am just not sure I will be able to do and go where I want to (live in London and live a glamorous life).  I’ve accepted the fact that I will most likely be alone and will not have a family of my own.  Accepting that has been hard, but it is probably for the best.  I think that the amount of baggage I carry would be a major issue and in regards to having children, time has pretty much run out.  It’s time to accept this.