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March 2021

Daily Diary – March 2021

My daily diary where I will write a few sentences about each day. By doing this I hope to discover and appreciate the finer moments in my life and perhaps recall the journey of this year when I reach the end.

From the people I meet, the video games I play or the time I go to bed, good days and bad days, I will continue to write.

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ONE

Not a bad Monday at work. Went for a short drive when I finished and felt a little lifeless in the afternoon and evening. Met Lisa for a short walk with her boyfriend.

TWO

A fair bit driving at work today. Good banter was had with my colleague. Had a small nap. My mum broke her filling in her tooth. Played FF14 with Mike in the evening. 

THREE

Started Midday at work and got home just after 6pm. Felt like such a good day. Got Chinese takeaway with parents when I got home. Spent a few hours updating my website.

FOUR

Got home from work at 3pm. A low mood day so didn’t feel like doing anything. Didn’t sleep until very late.

FIVE

Finished work at 1pm then went for a short drive. Didn’t feel like doing much else so just sat listening to music all night.

Published ‘A Small Reflection’ on blog.

SIX

Met Lisa and her friend for a long walk today and weather was so nice. Met an old man on our travels. Got home and had a small nap. Met another friend after 10pm for a shorter walk. Late night playing video games.

SEVEN

A very quiet Sunday. Just sat in my bedroom playing PS4 and watching anime.

EIGHT

Arrived early to work and got my workload for the next few days organised. Went for a short drive after work.

NINE

Not a very busy day at work. Didn’t do much else. Started playing ‘Genshin Impact’ on the PS4. 

TEN

Quite a few jobs to do at work today but managed to cram it into a few hours. Felt so good to be busy. Watched anime in the evening.

ELEVEN

Afternoon start at work today with Erin. Busy and stressful day but was satisfying. Got home a little after 6pm to have Chinese food with parents. Was going to have an early night but Mike called me to trade Pokemon, chatted for a few hours.

TWELVE

Finished work early today to meet with Lisa. It rained very heavy. Picked up her dads cat from the vet. Got home and accidentally had a 5 hour nap.

Published ‘A Late Update’ on blog.

THIRTEEN

Started playing ‘Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’ on PS4. Took a little while to get into it but I’m enjoying it. Met Linda about 6pm for a short walk and catch up. Chatted for a few hours. 

FOURTEEN

Mother’s Day today so bought my mum flowers, chocolates and a card. Sister and nephew visited. A nice chilled family day and had Chinese for tea. 

FIFTEEN

Lots of lifting at work today but was a good shift. Went for a short drive when I finished work. Met Dani at 9pm for a “walk”, but ended up chatting in our cars until after midnight. 

SIXTEEN

Another busy day at work with lots of lifting. Had a little nap after tea and then met up with Lisa for McDonalds and a quick catch up. 

SEVENTEEN

Later start at work around 1pm, was such a busy day but was working with Erin. Good to see her. Got home from work at 7:30pm and had pizza. Fell asleep with my clothes on. Woke up at 2am for a few hours and then went back to sleep.

EIGHTEEN

It was a slightly shorter day at work but lots of lifting again. Went for a short drive after work and had tea with my parents. Fell asleep at 5pm. Woke up around 2am again.

NINETEEN

Finished work early and met up with Lisa at 2pm. We went for a short walk to the beach and sat at the side. My legs were so sore. Parents ordered takeaway in the evening but I wasn’t that hungry so just had onion rings.

Published “Hangout” on blog.

TWENTY

Didn’t do much today. Met up with Nicola and Paul for a 2-hour walk. There was hundreds of frogs on our walk. Was a really nice night.

TWENTY-ONE

Arranged to meet up with Lisa in the evening to help wash the exterior and interior of our cars and have ordered myself new mats and seat covers. I hope they look good! Started watching anime ‘Erased’. 

TWENTY-TWO

Spent most of the day at work driving but was a nice short day. Bumped into Ben in the morning too. Visited Steven in the evening and continued to watch ‘Erased’. 

TWENTY-THREE

Very busy day at work with 6 other people, including Ben. Was so nice to work with so many people again – socially distanced of course. Sister came to visit in the afternoon. Played FF14 with Mike for a bit and then finished watching ‘Erased’.

TWENTY-FOUR

Another very busy day at work. Got home after 3pm and fell asleep. Chilled out in bed after tea and then went to supermarket for food and drinks. 

TWENTY-FIVE

A bit more relaxed day at work today. Although I didn’t get home until 4pm. Met Rachel just after 5pm for a walk somewhere we both hadn’t been in a while. The weather was a little cold but we wrapped up well.

TWENTY-SIX

Finished work at 12:30pm. Felt a little down in the afternoon. Erin sent me a message in the evening and we got food at McDonalds. Was nice to hang out!

Published ‘New Projects’ on blog.

TWENTY-SEVEN

Met Lisa for 40 minutes for a chat and then went for a walk with Nicola and Paul. Got new matts for my car, very nice.

TWENTY-EIGHT

Spent my Sunday playing around with my website and doing some writing and organising. Got pizza at night. 

TWENTY-NINE

Got home from work at 3pm. Didn’t do very much in the evening. Discovered old YouTube playlists! Also went to the supermarket and put fuel in my car.

THIRTY

Finished work before 1pm. Sister and nephew came to visit. Felt a little down in the evening so decided to go out and wash my car again.

THIRTY-ONE

Finished work very early at 12 today. Met up with Rachel for lunch to get some Japanese food at a local takeaway – sitting in still closed off. Was nice to sit down the beach and catch up for a few hours. My new summer hoodie arrived and pyjamas.

I have written 9 first drafts of ‘Chronicles of Callum’ out of 50.

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Frogs

Last weekend on the Saturday I met up with Nicola and Paul for an evening walk. It was a really nice evening and it was still daylight when we stared our walk at 6:30pm. We were at the place where I went with Lisa a few weeks ago. I hadn’t seen either Nicola or Paul for a few weeks so we had a lot to chat about. We walked with their dog, Bear, I think she may be losing her voice a little bit as she used to bark a lot. It’s funny how when she gets a little scared of the dark she stops right in front of where I’m walking and sometimes I feel like I’ll trip over her. 

About half-way on our walk, we walk in a loop, we found a frog in the middle of the path. It was so cute and we decided to move it off the path in case someone stepped on it. Paul picked it up and moved it onto the grass. Of course I got a photo of it. A few metres down the path there was another frog so we decided to move that one as well. A lot of cyclists come down on these paths and we didn’t want any harm to come to them. Every few steps down the path there was another frog and then another. It must have been mating season or hatching season (I know very little of frogs but I think I should do a little research on them now). At one point there was about 15-20 frogs in front of us with some sitting on the backs of the bigger frogs. There must have been hundreds if not thousands of frogs down the park.

At one point we forgot to take the turn off as we were so distracted looking for frogs. So we had to turn back and retrace our steps for about 5 minutes or so. We couldn’t have continued as the path would have taken us in the complete opposite direction of our cars and it was now completely dark outside. We had been so busy looking at the path for frogs that what is usually around a 1 hour walk lasted a little over 2 hours. I had so much fun and it will definitely be a memorable walk.

Dreams: Introduction

I’m a little unsure what direction I’m going to be taking with these ‘Dreams’ diary entries. Over the last week Dreams have come up in many conversations I’ve had and I remembered about 9/10 years ago I had another blog where I wrote all my dreams in. Unfortunately I lost access to my blog and have forgotten the url to even read what I had written. Somehow I don’t think I wrote very many dreams in it as I would forget to write as soon as I woke up. 

I have decided to incorporate my dreams into this 2021 diary. I will write them throughout the week and upload them alongside my usual Friday update. The dreams written here will be those that I have had recently as I plan to write them as soon as I wake up as usually as the day goes on dreams are forgotten. My dreams might not make much sense but I think it might be a little fun to write about them and perhaps an analysis on them too. 

Dreams: Electric Shock

Standing in the smoking shelter with my work colleagues, Ben and Jerry, finishing off my cigarette. I’m the only smoker and I’m the only one that has a lighter. I can’t remember the conversation we were having but we decided to get back into the office as we had work to do. 

The rest of our team weren’t in the office today but there was 3 other guys sitting at the desks that we didn’t know. 2 men on 1 computer and 1 on the other. There was a new trend to clean underneath your PC monitor. You used a lighter under the switch to remove all the dust and make it run smoother. (I realise that might not really make any sense, but sometimes dreams don’t make sense.) The 2 guys sitting together asked to borrow my lighter and I gave them it because I wanted to see the magic trick. I was amazed the way that the dust just vanished in a few small sparks. 

The other guy sitting himself saw what had happened and asked to borrow my lighter to do the same for his monitor, I agreed to give him it. When he held the lighter just below his monitor the same thing happened with the sparks. But the guy held the lighter a little too long and somehow one of the fans below the monitor starter spinning fire! I was the only one that seen it. The guy holding the lighter had completely frozen and I realised the room was filled with electricity! I looked over to Ben and he was also frozen, completely immobilised but his face was filled with pain. There was a red isolation switch on the wall on the other side of the room and I shouted over to Jerry to switch it off. The room was filled with sparks so I couldn’t move but they weren’t touching me. Jerry almost got the main power switch when the sparks hit him. Everybody was receiving a high electric shock and I was trapped in the middle. I woke up!

I’m not sure what this dream meant or what made me want to start writing about my dreams again. Not sure if I will write about any more in my diary, but just giving myself the opportunity to do so.

Erased (anime)

I was a little unsure whether or not I would write about anime in my diary but I wanted to write about Erased. Believe it or not I had an anime blog a few years ago that I would write anime reviews that I had watched. I think I only wrote 2 or 3 reviews, I had high hopes that it would take off but it wasn’t successful. So I figured I wouldn’t write a review of the anime but my general thoughts as anime is such a great part of my life. 

Mike recommend me to watch Erased and it had been on my Amazon wish list for months so I decided to buy it and watch it straight away. Only 12 episodes that I watched over 3 nights. The main character is 29 years old and some things happen that and he gets framed for his mother’s murder. He gets transported back in time to when he was 11 years old and faces his childhood trauma of the kidnappings of 3 girls his age. Time switches a few times throughout and he manages to delay the death of the first victim by a few days and later he finally manages to save everyone but sacrifices himself in the process. He has been in a coma for 15 years, but in the end he remembers everything including the killer and manages to get revenge. All his school friends have grown up but they had never forgotten or given up on him. Even though he has spent 15 years in a coma, it seems he remembers the other timelines that had happened as well. 

Watching Erased got me thinking. The time-travel murder mystery with the main character suffering from childhood trauma eventually faces his issues and in the new timeline his dream comes true and has become a manga artist. As I am an over thinker, I had thoughts that if I was able to time travel what could I possibly change. I see myself in the main character a little; I have always wanted to be a writer but have recently (a little over a year ago) managed to escape my dead end job that was going nowhere. Also, the suggested love interest for the first half of the series ends up married with a child to another man, it was still a happy ending. My life is nothing like the anime, as I also cannot time travel (or can I?) I still found to be relatable to the main character. 

I’m not going to write about every anime that I watch. I just felt like writing about my feelings towards this. But I think I will start to include the anime I watch in my daily diary. As this website project is about bringing everything that I have ever done, in regards to writing, online in one place.

National Poetry Writing Month

April marks the National Poetry Writing Month (abbreviated as NaPoWriMo). NaPoWriMo is an opportunity for writings and poets to take on the challenge to write 1 piece of poetry each day over the month of April. I participated in this project a few years ago, I think maybe 2015, and I really enjoyed taking part. Writing prompts are available online from various websites although you don’t need to use those, you could write anything you want, but I had the chance to write using restrictions that I hope I am able to explore some more next month. 

I may post these on my website each day and by the end I will hopefully have 30 different pieces of poetry. This might give me a chance to promote my website a little and to reach out. I wonder if there will be some sort of competition this year as well, I think I will spend this weekend getting myself prepared and doing a little bit of research. I would also love to get Rachel involved as we occasionally share our poetry with each other. 

There are so many writing goals I have set myself for this year. Obviously with this current diary where I write an entry each Friday of the year. Then, my daily diary which I will eventually update on my website. NaPoWriMo, which is next month. There is also National Novel Writing Month which is in November where I plan to write a novel length story that I will think about more nearer the time. Finally, the ‘Chronicles of Callum’, 100 short stories on my life to be written any time during the year – my goal is to have 100 first drafts complete by the end of December. I know that I am more than capable of achieving these targets and I will be so proud of myself by the end of the year. 

Mental Health Check

I have already written so much in this weeks diary entry. But this is a small reminder that this diary is primarily focused on my mental health and the progress I have made. I have come such a long way since this time last year and I have created new outlets for me to deal with things when I get anxious or depressed and generally worried about life. I have felt a little ‘low’ these last few days but I know that will pass. This diary has really given me something special and as this is my THIRTEENTH entry I already have such a great collection, in my opinion. I really feel as if I’m putting all these writing projects I have created over the years together in one place, or working on achieving that, I will feel satisfaction by the end. Well, that is one of my goals.

In my seventh entry on the 12th February I mentioned I wanted to write about my feelings of depression and social anxiety situations. In truth, I have started writing about some of it but I don’t feel that I’m ready to actually finish writing that. But I feel as long as if I include that somewhere in my 2021 project I will be more than pleased. It might be in my next entry, or perhaps my 40th entry. I do hope that I manage to complete my goal of writing each week. I have already written double my target for this week as with many other weeks, that just means I won’t feel as bad if I only write 500 words one week. I’m proud of myself.

Vaccinations at 42.5% (5.1%)

As in every diary entry I have written since middle of January, I have mentioned a little bit about the vaccination progress within Scotland. I see the vaccinations as the ultimate way to beat the virus and to get out of lockdown restrictions once and for all. I don’t have very much to say about the vaccinations this week but they have raised a fair chunk again. Also, 51.1% of all Scottish Adults have been vaccinated which is over the half way mark. I still feel the need to write this heading at the end of each entry and I will continue to do so until we reach a far significant percentage.

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“Hangout”

I would like to add before this entry that by using the word hangout I do mean sticking to current lockdown restrictions. Hanging out with my friends takes place during my exercise which is allowed as we follow social distance rules, such as taking 2 cars to somewhere that isn’t very far away and wearing our face masks when necessary.

Hangout With Linda

Last weekend I met up with Linda. We had arranged a walk a few weeks previous but other things came up so decided to postpone. We met at 6pm somewhere that was a 2 minute drive for the both of us. We hadn’t seen each other since last summer and I think we only met up twice the whole of last year. 

We rarely get the chance to catch up these days, obviously due to lockdown restrictions but also that she moved house a few years ago. Although she lives a short walk away, I used to just ‘pop over’ last minute in the past and sometimes we would see each other 3-4 times a week and sometimes we wouldn’t speak for months at a time. As I’ve said in my ‘Lockdown Diary’, I have known her the longest. I have also written a little about her in my ‘Chronicles of Callum’ project. 

The car park that we met at was completely empty. What would usually be full of cars at one of the local restaurants was now empty. Although I think the restaurant is open for takeaway only we didn’t see any other cars in the time we sat there. The walk wasn’t very long but Linda told me that she had been on the walk I was on last week so was exhausted already. We were together for about an hour and a half and there wasn’t a silent moment. We had a fair bit to catch up and it was quite nice. As she lives herself I’m glad that she has formed an extended household bubble with her mum who only lives about 5 miles from her. I hope to arrange another little adventure with Linda soon and perhaps try to stay better connected with her.

Hangout With Dani

Dani and I used to work together. I lost contact with many of my ex colleagues but she is the one I speak to the most. We had many 6am early starts at our supermarket job but now we have both left. We had regular contact during original lockdown to discuss the current state of the pandemic and what we were doing with ourselves. Also, because she is studying to become a doctor I was able to talk about my dad and she was able to ease my worries a little. 

Monday evening we had plans to meet up for our daily exercise (although I don’t think we ever had any intention to exercise). We were supposed to meet at 6pm but she was a little busy doing coursework so we met at 9pm. We sat in our cars down one of the parks and we started chatting. Before we knew it, it was after midnight and we had to get home. That is the latest I have been out this year and it felt good. I love driving, in normal times, very late at night as the roads are quieter and that has always been my escape and chance to reflect on my current mood and feelings.

We always have so much to talk about. When we worked together we would always take our breaks together and chat about the goings on at the workplace. I don’t like to think of our chats as gossip, as that would suggest our words aren’t true and could hurt people. We just generally ask how people are getting on and we talk a little about ourselves. It was good to see her and hopefully we could ‘go for our daily walk’ together sometime soon. 

Hangout With Lisa

Today, Friday, I met up with Lisa after work. After such a long hard week at work with lots of heavy lifting my legs wouldn’t be able to cope with such a long walk. So we drove to the next town over and took a short walk down to the beach (this park is only around 5 miles from our houses and is where I wrote a few entries of my lockdown diary last year). It was nice to catch up as there is never a quiet moment. 

I think this week I have remained most sociable whilst keeping to the restrictions and I have felt the most connected as I have done in months. I am already making plans when things start to open up, such as a trip to Nando’s or Tony Macaroni. 

Scottish Lockdown Exit 

Nicola Sturgeon, The First Minister, told the country some dates for the easing of lockdown. As the lockdown restrictions have affected everyones lives so much I thought I would write a little about what that means for me.

2nd April: “stay at home” becomes “stay local” which means I can travel anywhere within my local authority and not just for essential purposes. That means I am able to go out for no particular reason instead of going out just for exercise or to the supermarket for my shopping. I hope I am able to travel a little and maybe go to the beach in the evening as that is one of the things I miss most about the outdoors. Even at night time I love the beach as just being near the sea makes life a little more stress free. 

26th April: I will be able to travel anywhere within mainland Scotland. I might just plan a little road trip somewhere or travel somewhere to buy myself some takeaway food; chippy, ice cream or noodles. Also, all the shops should be able to open so I may need to arrange a little trip to the video game store. I am also most excited for the restaurants to re open as that is one of my most favourite things to do. Also my birthday is a little after this date so I’ve already planned where I’m going for my birthday with my different friend groups, I might even eat out twice in one day I have missed it so much. 

17th May: Up to 4 people from 2 households can socialise indoors. This means I will be able to go to Steven or Lisa’s house to watch a movie, or maybe have a friend over to play video games with me. I could even travel a little further and visit a friend I haven’t seen for over a year. 

There is hope that Scotland will be in level 0 of the tier system by the end of June. As all these dates aren’t “definite” dates as they may be changed and things may take a turn for the worse if there is a large increase in cases again as to put pressure on the health service. But I am hopeful with the current vaccinations that the cases and deaths will gradually drop to very low levels. But, I will still be writing in my diary regardless of what the outcomes will be.

Work

This week has been so hectic at work. Doing a lot of heavy lifting and generally just working hard and it feels great. I feel like our workload has been quite steady throughout this year but this week alone has just been so busy. The hours haven’t been very much longer but there certainly hasn’t been too many moments where I can sit and chill out as I have been on the go most of this week.

I was a little worried as our contracts were supposed to come to an end at the end of the month. We were told a few weeks ago that they might be keeping some members of the team on for a few more months. I was worried in case I wasn’t one of those people. It caused quite a bit of stress within our team but I feel that we all discussed it like adults. Thankfully, they are keeping everyone on until the end of June. I haven’t been looking for new jobs, I felt as if I could just brush it under the carpet as I am just trying to survive one day at a time for now. I know by June I will be in a far better place mentally and I will be in better head space to write application forms. Take my life a little more seriously, but I will still be writing until the end of this year as I promised myself.

Vaccinations at 37.8% (3.7%)

This week the rate of vaccinations has increased quite a bit from the previous few weeks. I think the number to watch now is the second vaccination percentage as that offers the most protection from the coronavirus. Around 1 in 27 people have had their second dose, although the cases seem to have plateaued at just under 600 cases a day, the hospital admissions and those in intensive care are decreasing every day, with less than 400 people in hospital throughout the entirety of Scotland.

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A Late Update

A Quiet Week

I’m a little late in writing this entry this week as sometimes I write some ideas in my notepad of what I want to write about during the week. But this week I’m leaving it until the very last minute. After waking up for an almost 5 hour nap today, I am writing this at 11pm. I would say this week has been a bit boring. I have been a little anxious about coming to the end of my job as it is a temporary contract – I hope to write more about that next week. I guess you could say I’ve just been trying to get through this week as quickly as possible but I have happily just chilled out by myself after work with some video games and I’ve not really arranged any walks with any of my friends throughout the week although I did go for quite an epic walk last Saturday that I will write about today. I have also not really kept on top of my daily diary as I have just forgotten to write a few sentences each day.

A Normal Walk

Last weekend I met up with Lisa and her friend a little after lunch time for a walk. We had decided to do one of my more regular walks that is only really appropriate during the summer as all the paths can get quite muddy. Also it’s not very fun when it’s so cold you can’t stop for a rest break. It was rather difficult to park but we found spaces in the end no problem. 

I hadn’t been here since around October time. During normal times I would sometimes come here to sit in the car or for an evening walk. I know this sounds a little stupid, but we started our walk out going a direction that I have never been. So, although we are staying local due to travel restrictions, it still seemed as if I was somewhere new. It was quite sunny but still a little windy so I was wearing my thin hoody – not quite the weather for shorts yet. I think I may have to invest in a few new pairs of shorts for this summer.

Our walk in total was around 2 hours. In these far from normal times this walk felt more normal than ever. I guess you could say it felt just like a normal day apart from taking separate cars! There was an older couple with their daughter, she was a little older than me, and they had a dog. We held a gate open for them and it was nice to have that casual interaction, still keeping to social distancing. We came to a cross roads and I usually turn right but this time we walked straight, the map said that it was a dead-end but we decided to check it out. We came across a small wooden hut and we walked inside. There was an old man inside rolling a cigarette and he made small talk with us. He had said that he came to see if he could spot any birds/animals but wasn’t having any luck. We spoke about random things such as the swans and the pollution in the water. It was a nice little interaction and I can’t deny it made our walk that little bit brighter. The man left us with a smile on his face. 

We continued our walk and enjoyed the sun. I managed to get a few nice photographs as well. I’ve really gotten into taking photographs of the scenery of my adventures. I was away from the house for only 3 hours but it feels like I was away all day. I really need to focus on my fitness as I haven’t been walking as much and as far as I would have liked. I cannot wait until the nights get lighter as my favourite time to go out is at 7/8pm when it is still daylight and no need for a jacket. I have a feeling this summer is going to be a hot one. I also hope that restrictions have been lifted by then so our adventures can be a little farther and not just a part of daily exercise. 

Vaccinations at 33.8% (2.7%)

A very small increase in the people vaccinated this week in Scotland. The government acknowledge this and state that the next 2 weeks the numbers should be increases at an even faster rate than previously. I hope this is true but as it stands 33.8% of the Scottish population have had their first dose and 2.7% have had their second, which is roughly 1 in 37 people. The number of people in Hospitals in Scotland have dropped significantly with 512 people in hospital today as the vaccine seems to be having an effect on those numbers. As I check the numbers every day I don’t watch the daily briefings anymore as I don’t

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A Small Reflection

A Personal Reflection of COVID-19 Pandemic

A reminder to myself that I am doing the right thing by writing in this diary. The messages I have already received, from 3 different people, are enough to confirm that making this diary public in the way I have is a good thing. As this in my 10th entry I am already almost 20% through this ‘2021 project’. This week has been pretty awful mentally and not much I can really write about as I’m unsure where my mental health stands at the moment so decided to do a little reflection on the last year. In my almost 10 years of diary writing this is probably the most honest I have ever been.

On the first day of march 2020 the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was discovered in Scotland. The first confirmed case in England was much earlier on the 23rd of January. We were talking about it at work and none of us believed that it would ever spread much further than it did. Not understanding the full impact it could have, I said to my work colleagues that they shouldn’t worry too much. It’s just a few cases and nothing will ever come from it. By the end of the month the daily cases were in the 100s in Scotland alone and our country was in Lockdown.

My dad was taken to the hospital on the 2nd March so my entire world was already in shock. Everything was changing and I didn’t want anything else to change. Over the course of the first few weeks in March we were visiting the hospital every day to see my dad. It was impossible to buy hand sanitiser, even the dispensers in the corridors of the hospital were empty. My dad would spend the next few months going in and out of hospital. The first time he was in for just over a week and the longest time he spent was almost 4 weeks. I can’t count how many days in total he spent in the hospitals.

We had a drinks event with work on the 6th March and I didn’t really want to be there but my mum told me that dad would have wanted me to go, my dad couldn’t even speak. I acted as if everything was normal and it was a normal night. I really enjoyed the drinks and the company of Ben and everyone else I worked with. I just can’t believe that was the last time I was sitting in a pub with my friends. When Ben and I hugged outside before he left and we kissed each others cheek, So much more could have potentially happened that night, but I can’t think too much on what might have happened. The next day reality hit me hard. I certainly felt a spark but unfortunately it just didn’t ignite, much like a broken lighter, I got a little frustrated at myself and I shut myself down completely.

The 9th March Italy went into a Nationwide lockdown. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the news. Denmark was next, then Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Austria, France. California was the first state in the US. Germany and New York went into lockdown on the Sunday. The UK was next. I don’t think any of us was prepared for what the next 12 months would bring. Even to date the pandemic is far from over.

Monday 23rd March and I was at work, although we didn’t have much work to do. The schools had already been closed from the previous Friday but I STILL didn’t want to believe we could go into lockdown. That morning at work we had been told off for all standing too close together in the corridor by one of our managers. We had been told we needed to social distance. Just like at the last in-person meeting we had the previous week, we had to sit apart, I thought it was a little unusual. I didn’t like it at all.

I had planned to only write 1 entry on the first day of each month for the whole of 2020. I forgot to do an entry for January and February but on the 1st March I was feeling so positive and everything was going right for once in my life. I started writing about Ben when I couldn’t even confide to my diary about my dad. I’m unable to handle a crush on someone at the best of times. But by the end of March I had already written the amount I had planned for the entire year. This wasn’t just awful science fiction movie, it was real! All of a sudden I was powerless. There was absolutely nothing I could do. So I started writing more. 

I am able to write these words 1 year later in hope that I never have to experience anything quite like that again. As this is my 10th entry in my ‘2021 diary’ and I am so proud of myself for getting through this. I am a stronger person. I will continue to become even stronger. That is a promise to myself!

Vaccinations at 31.4% (2%)

1 in 3 people in Scotland have had their first dose of the vaccination equating to 31.4% of the entire Scottish population. This includes over 95% of those ages 65 and over. 2% of the Scottish population have had their second dose. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that perhaps next week some restrictions might be lifted and I think that may be to do with outdoor mixing. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m still sure that things are going the right way.

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February 2021

Daily Diary – February 2021

My daily diary where I will write a few sentences about each day. By doing this I hope to discover and appreciate the finer moments in my life and perhaps recall the journey of this year when I reach the end.

From the people I meet, the video games I play or the time I go to bed, good days and bad days, I will continue to write.

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ONE

Busy day at work. Felt a little unwell, dizzy spells but might just be tired. Had a nap for 3 hours then just chilled with PS4. Made myself a cheese toastie. Need a toastier maker!

TWO

Lockdown has even extended until the end of the month. Quieter day at work. Played PS4 then went to supermarket for lunch and drinks (for tomorrow) and bumped into Lisa. Sat in cars for 25-30 minutes. Shaved my face for the first time in over two months!

THREE

Busy yet such an awesome day at work! Got to work with Ben today! Also, didn’t get home until well after 4pm. Evening spent playing PS4. I feel exhausted but in a good way. 

FOUR

Work. Got home after 3. Fell asleep accidentally for 6 hours, couldn’t sleep until after 4am. Payday so bought things online.

FIVE

Roads to work were flooded. Took an extra 10 mins. Car park was flooded so had to park farther away. Spent the evening playing video games and went to supermarket. 

Published ‘A Better Week’ on blog.

SIX

Arranged walk with Lisa and her younger sister. Unfortunately it was heavy hailstones so we sat in our cars on video chat until it stopped. Huge muddy puddles and slippy paths but was fun. Takeaway and video games with Mike at night. 

SEVEN

Sister came to visit with nephew. We just sat and chilled. Met Nicola and Paul for our usual weekly walk! Video games and diary writing at night. 

EIGHT

Got to work this morning at 10am and got home at 3pm. Not much happened today but it snowed really heavy in the evening. Played FF14 with Mike and watched some anime.

NINE

Day off work using holiday allowance so woke up around 1pm. Also gave Dad his birthday card and gifts It snowed all day so I watched around 6 hours of anime. Attempted to move car but was unable to due to the snow.

TEN

Day off work due to the heavy snow. Managed to get my car out at night to go to petrol station and supermarket. Started playing ‘Code Vein’ on the PS4. Was unable to get a takeaway as they were all closed due to the snow.

ELEVEN

Managed to get into work today. Arrived at 10:30 and colleague arrived just after 11. Played more video games in the evening until around 2am. Made plans with Rachel for a walk but we were both too tired.

TWELVE

Went into work today and had a ‘Friday Finish’ and got home for 1pm. When I got home I slept because I have a really sore stomach, not sure what is wrong but hopefully I feel better soon. Played video games and rested for the rest of the day.

Published ‘Trapped in Snow’ on blog.

THIRTEEN

Woke up just after 11am. Made plans with Lisa to go for a short walk in our local park. Snow started but we continued walking for about 45 minutes. Got home and just had a sandwich, ordered takeaway for 9pm for my parents and myself. Started playing ‘Dishonored’ on PS4 – dad’s recommendation. Stomach still painful. 

FOURTEEN

Valentine’s Day. Got a little sad that I’m single but was in so much pain with my stomach I spent most of the day in bed. Only got out of bed for dinner and played video games the entire day.

FIFTEEN

Got into work a little late and asked my colleague if we could leave early. Still not feeling myself. Took a long nap then started playing ‘Dishonored 2’. 

SIXTEEN

Better day at work. Mum had her retirement day and also got her COVID vaccine. Had a long shower and then played FF14 with Mike and had an early (1am) night. 

SEVENTEEN

Longer day at work making up for my laziness earlier in the week. Went for a walk with Nicola and Paul and we got a little lost. The paths down the park were extremely muddy. Went to supermarket for snacks and drinks. 

EIGHTEEN

Very busy day at work as the boss joined us and we had another company in collecting things. They were there for over 4 hours. After tea time I crashed out at 5pm and didn’t wake up till around 3am.

NINETEEN

Feeling a lot brighter today at work. Another colleague joined us with my usual colleague. Enjoyed the banter today. In the evening I spent many hours playing video games and caught up on the whole weeks worth of Coronation Street.

Published ‘Pain’ on blog.

TWENTY

Spent most of my Saturday in bed. Got out of bed around 4pm for dinner with the parents. Played some video games and then ordered a takeaway for my parents and I around 9pm. Played more video games. Spoke to Lisa online for a while.

TWENTY-ONE

Today I didn’t do very much either. Completed ‘Dishonored 2’ and played some FF14 with Mike in the evening. I would like to buy some new video games as I’ve really enjoyed the games I’ve played this year.

TWENTY-TWO

A slow Monday at work but managed the workload for the rest of the week. Route map out of lockdown was released for England. I had an early night and slept by 11pm.

TWENTY-THREE

Lots of driving at work today but was a really good shift. Met up with Lisa in the evening for an hour. First look at my published ‘Lockdown Diary’ book. I’m impressed and quite excited. I spent the night reading over it.

TWENTY-FOUR

Later start at work at 1pm, got home around 6pm. Worked with Erin and Ben today and it was a good shift. Takeaway at night with parents and played FF14 with Mike for about 6 hours then watched Coronation Street into the early hours.

TWENTY-FIVE

Days holiday from work. My nephews birthday today so my sister visited and we had a little celebration with him. It was so good and I can’t believe he is a year old already. I met Rachel at night for a short walk as well and got home at 11pm.

TWENTY-SIX

Had a good shift at work and went for a very short drive afterwards, got home at 3pm. My evening was quiet so just played FF14 with Mike.

Published ‘Sight of a Brighter Future’ on blog.

TWENTY-SEVEN

Played video games all day. I Drove to McDonalds and got a double cheeseburger, first of the year, then went to supermarket for food and energy drinks. I took my car to the outdoor car wash the wash the exterior of my car. Late night watching Family Guy then went to sleep around 5am.

TWENTY-EIGHT

Another boring day but played video games and watched anime. Spent a few hours writing some stories and updating my diary and website. I think I should write more in these daily diary entries.

I have written 7 first drafts of ‘Chronicles of Callum’ out of 50.

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Sight of a Brighter Future

Lockdown Exit Strategy

At the beginning of the week Boris Johnston set out a route map for England to get out of Lockdown. Nicola Sturgeon made announcements for Scotland the following day. Here is a little of what to expect from the next few months.

8th March, all schools reopen and two people can sit outdoors together and care home residents are allowed one regular visitor. 29th March, six people from two households can meet outdoors and outdoor sports are allowed along with traveling outside local area. 12th April, non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality can open along with the gyms and some holiday accommodation. 17th May, outdoors social contact rules are lifted, 6 people can meet indoors and indoor hospitality and hotels open. 21st June all legal limits on social contact are removed and everywhere else such as nightclubs will be allowed to open. Although these rules are JUST for England.

In Scotland things are a little different. From the 5th April the stay at home restrictions will be lifted and schools might fully reopen, but still only outdoor meeting is allowed. Then, on the 26th of April we return to the levels system we had at the end of last year. I have hopes that we will at least be moved to level 3 restrictions then which means restaurants will be allowed to open. I might be able to have a nice meal out for my birthday as I have personally missed going out to restaurants with friends the most. I’m not entirely sure of what will happen after that and I understand that these dates could change so I can’t set my heart on making any plans just yet. 

I would also like to add that the coronavirus alert level has been lowered from level five to level 4 in all 4 countries of the UK. That means that the pressure on our NHS isn’t as severe as it was as the alert level was raised to 5 at the beginning of the year. This has no effect on the lockdown measures but it is in indication for the scientific advisers as level 4 still states the virus has a high transmission rate. I can see a brighter future ahead for all of us but for now it is important to continue to suppress the virus.

Hair Shaving

Something that has been bothering me for a while was the length of my hair. It was getting too long, felt greasy, awful to dry and I would feel the need to wear hats all the time. So I took the decision to shave it off. Not completely bald, but it’s quite a large difference. A literal weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I’m not quite sure if this is a diary worthy entry. But this, for me, is a big deal. I’m not the usual type to take such a great pride in my hair but I still want it to look good. I’ll be unable to get a haircut professionally for the next few months at least. I asked mum if she could do it for me and she was more than happy to. Unfortunately she done it a little patchy so I had to finish it myself. It took a lot longer than expected as I had to get both my mum and dad to point out the bits that had been missed. In the end, I am satisfied with my new style and I feel like a new person. When I can eventually get my hair done at the barbers again it will hopefully be before going to the pub or to a nice restaurant.

Erin and Ben

I was really nervous about working this week as I was going to be working with both Erin and Ben. I was really anxious about going into work and seeing both of them and I was over thinking every little scenario in my head. I know it’s silly, but I thought it would be very awkward and I would maybe get a little upset after everything that has happened. Although it was a really good shift with them both.

I hadn’t spoken to Erin in about 2 weeks and I’ve not actually spent any time with her outside of work since the start of January. I thought it would be a little weird but as soon as she walked through the door (I got to work first) she acknowledged my hair. I appreciated that. I also offered her a new energy drink that I had bought, I didn’t quite like it, but it was something that she would like. She also accompanied me for a cigarette before we properly started work to have a quick catch up. I felt as if we cleared the air a little, maybe there was no “air to clear”, but I felt a little better. After work she asked if I would be able to drive her home as she lives on the way and it felt quite relaxing. I told her that if she wanted to hang out at some point, if to go for an adventure or to the supermarket, or even just for chilling out, to let me know. 

I was expecting Ben to try his best to avoid me. To not want to work closely with me if possible. Perhaps make things a little more difficult if possible. But his company was actually quite pleasant. I tried to be the best version of myself as possible because I clearly care of his opinion of me. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to see or speak to him after this project is over so I need to make the most if it. I want to enjoy his company while I can and make sure I don’t cause any unnecessary drama. He’s the first person I’ve ever seen that can bend his fingers and his thumb in a certain way the same way I can. I know that’s a silly little thing but I don’t know anybody else that can bend their thumb in any direction like I can. 

I’m actually thinking about giving him a copy of the letter I wrote last year to him before the team disbands. I’m thinking about giving out the other letters I wrote as well. A part of my journey of being more open with myself and others around me. I’m not sure how he would react to reading something that I wrote, especially at one of my lowest points in life. I really really really wish we could just be friends.

Physical Lockdown Diary

I got the first few copies of my published ‘Lockdown Diary’ that I had written throughout the last year in the initial stages of the global lockdown. I can’t describe how awesome it feels to actually have a book in my hands that I have written. I never would have expected for that to happen as I always tried to get some poetry published or perhaps a short story in a magazine but I had never put in as much dedication to anything like it. Writing has always been an escape for me and I always had a dream to make something real from it. 

I genuinely hope that my book manages to generate some sales and gain popularity. I mean, I’m not primarily writing to gain fame or fortunes, but I do have a hope that if someone can read what I’ve written and it may help them then I am more than happy. Things didn’t seem real until I was actually holding it in my hands, flipping through the pages, reading it from cover to cover, as if I was reading for the first time. I wonder if the publication will be praised and how much further it will really go. Time will tell.

I guess in a strange way, this current 2021 diary is my exit strategy from my mental health issues. As I have the plan to write every Friday and with each entry having a title and separated with sub titles, perhaps this could be, if all goes well, like a sequel to my first book. I also feel quite excited that this is my 9th entry and there will be 44 more entries to come. As if my life was a story I am telling and things are only going to get bigger and better as the protagonist succeeds with whatever quest he is on. How many story arcs will 2021 have and what will happen in the end. I think maybe when I start to take some time out to write in my diary I am able to separate myself from reality a little bit and to reflect on the events of the week. So, in a weird kind of way, I am the writer, author and reader of my story.

There were parts that I didn’t include in my published diary. Some of the letters that I wrote to some people that are for my viewing only. Also my ‘Reflections of’ entires that included my thoughts and feelings of previous diary entires. ‘Reflections of 2017’, etc I wrote a paragraph about each entry that I had written, maybe how my feelings had changed about a certain subject or maybe anything I wanted to add. Those diary entires helped me a lot as it proved to me how far on my journey I have come and gave me the confidence to get over my current trials. I really want to go through my ‘Lockdown Diary’ at some point and write about each entry in a paragraph. Perhaps that could be something I do later in the year as just by reading it now I already know how far I’ve come and I am so proud of myself. It doesn’t feel like it most of the time but I am extremely lucky to have my diary.

First Birthday

My nephew had his first birthday. His first year on this Earth hasn’t been the greatest as he hasn’t had the same first year as most babies will have had. It’s such a shame that I think I could probably count the number of times that I’ve seen him. But to be honest I doubt he’ll ever remember anything about coronavirus or lockdown when he is older, perhaps he will only learn about it at school. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway as I would hate his first memories to be of lockdown but instead of the happier memories he has playing with his toys and walks with his parents.

I gave him the Psyduck plush that I ordered online. I still have hopes that he will be into video games and things like Pokémon when he is older like I was. My sister also loved the photograph box with the reprints in it. My nephew was more interested in chewing on the plastic but I think it’s a little more symbolic as this will be his family photos that I hope my sister will add to over to over many years. 

My sister isn’t very good at baking. She baked my nephew a birthday cake, trying to make it healthy, but it wasn’t very much of a cake. It was meant to be a carrot cake but instead it was a little rubbery and looked more like a flat biscuit. I thought it was pretty awesome that she tried instead of spending far too much money on a cake from the supermarket. I tried a bit but didn’t like the texture. My nephew ended up with it on the floor with him and we got some photos, it was very cute. I’ve seen photos of other kids first birthdays where they get a cake and destroy it, I think they call it a ‘cake smash’ party i’m not sure. The photos we got will be memorable. Our family don’t have very many photos over the recent years but with the arrival of a new member of the family, that will obviously change. 

My nephew has a very bright future ahead of him with 2 awesome parents and of course an awesome uncle. It may take a little time for me to be the best uncle ever but I am determined more than ever. I believe he was one of the reasons I made it through lockdown and you never know, I could be an uncle to even more in the future if my sister wants another. Then I can be twice as awesome… or three times as awesome? I think I may be pushing it now. Not sure if I will ever be a father myself at this point, it is a possibility, but I think I would like to be in a stable relationship before I make any sort of decisions in that field.

Vaccinations at 28.2% (1.2%)

The first dose of vaccinated people stands at 28.2% of the Scottish adult population now. Not a significant of an increase from last Friday, but that was to be expected as the availability isn’t as great but that should increase in the coming weeks (or so it is hoped). Although the percentage of second doses is on the up. As the vaccination does require both dozes to be fully effective against the virus. I have decided to include the percentage of people that have received both doses in my heading in the coming weeks in brackets (that stands at 1.2% from today) and I will continue to record that statistic in my diary.

262 million people have been given vaccinations worldwide.

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Pain

Therapy and First Diary

I don’t really have much to write this week. But I wanted to write about the previous therapy sessions I have had in the past. I’ve also tried many different kinds of self therapy! 

But in the current situation I believe that this diary is the therapy I need. Diaries aren’t for everyone but I can’t stress how satisfied and happy it has made me just to get my raw emotions into words. Also with this current 2021 diary, to be so constructive and creative and I know by the end of the year I will be able to gift myself something so awesome. I do hope this will somehow help others if they come across my diary but even if they don’t and nobody else ever reads these words, I will still be satisfied. 

My first diary, that I mentioned in my previous post, wasn’t a thought out idea or plan. I found an app on my iPhone and wrote my first entry. In 2011 I had 3 blogs, 1 for my secrets, another for my dreams and a final one that was like a diary. Unfortunately I only have access to 5 of those entires, I guess my other entries must still be online somewhere with a forgotten website address. Back in those days, that was my therapy, times where I felt as if I couldn’t tell anyone my secrets or my latest crush, instead I told the whole internet. Although I doubt they’d ever be found now, but that still gives me some sort of comfort. I think one day I would like to make everything available, not sure who would want to read it, but it may be interesting for some. 

I also love how I have my diary so organised. I’m writing this straight into a word processor. I guess in that sense, I’m organising my thoughts with a plan to have everything sorted by the end of this year. That is my goal anyway and I would like to remind myself occasionally.

Lost in The Park and Stomach Issues

Last Friday I started having a horrible pain in my stomach. I felt as if it was bruised somehow and it hurt to do anything. Over the last weekend it worsened and all I could do was rest. My appetite and everything else was unchanged so I’m not really sure what it was. Even by Thursday (yesterday) there was still a slight pain. But everything seems to be back to normal. I think it may be down to the amount of energy drinks I consume. Today, 7 days later I am finally feeling back to myself again. Thursday after work I crashed out in bed around 5pm and didn’t wake up until 3am, I think that was my body recovering and catching up with the lack of sleep I have been having recently.

Wednesday I received a text from Nicola asking if I fancied a walk that evening. I was still in a little pain from my stomach issues but decided a walk may do me good. I asked if they wanted to come to a different park to walk their dog and they agreed. I think this may be the closest park to my house just less than a mile to walk to it or a 5 minute drive. Because of all the snow we had over the last week the paths seemed to be extra muddy and because it was dark there was many parts where our shoes would almost be lost. We had to turn back at one point and try to walk a different way. 

It was great to see Nicola and Paul for our weekly adventure but it wasn’t the greatest adventure. I did feel a lot better after our exercise though. I visited the supermarket afterwards and I left a muddy trail of footprints behind me! I cannot wait until the nights get lighter, I really do enjoy late night walks in the daylight – you know when it’s like 10pm and the sun hasn’t quite gone down yet. This summer I hope to get a few decent photographs of sunsets. 

Vaccinations at 25.4%

The number of people in Scotland that have had their first dose of the vaccination is at 25.4% which is 1 in 4 people. My mum is one of those people. The second dose has risen from 0.2% to 0.5% and that should be the next to grow over the coming weeks in order to offer greater protection against the virus. Next week we should have a better idea of when restrictions will be lifted. I hope they can be lifted soon so we can try get back to normal. 

216 million vaccinations have been given worldwide. 

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Trapped in Snow

Walks and Adventures

As with current lockdown restrictions mean that normal socialising is not allowed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still go for adventures and make the most of what we can do. 

Last Saturday I made solid plans with Lisa to go for a walk like we used to as recently we have both been so busy with our work. We decided last week that we would go for a walk no matter what happened. We had even set the time for 12:15pm, although that was pushed back until 2pm, we were both determined to go for our exercise together. We met at a small carpark in the next town over and there was quite a few cars in the car park with people just sitting enjoying the view. I opened my window to have a cigarette and to speak to Lisa, but the wind was wild and hailstones  heavy and I had to close my window, we ended up video calling each other to decide what to do. A part of me was going to suggest we just sit in the car and have a small catch up but I was determined to get out and have our walk so we waited for about 5-10 minutes until the hail had stopped. Lisa brought her little sister along with us so that was an added bonus. The path next to the beach was very muddy and there was huge puddles but we got through it all. We had walked for about 25-30 minutes and we came across old ruins – I had walked this path many times before. We had a cigarette and decided to start walking back to the cars. Overall the walk was enjoyable it was just a little unfortunate of the weather. There will be a tonne of new adventures with Lisa to come this year as I believe 2020 and the original lockdown brought us closer than ever.

Paul sent me a text one evening asking if I would like to go for a walk. I gladly accepted. Although he only gave me about half hour notice I didn’t mind. Nicola was also with us as I only ever meet them both as a pair. I have only ever been on a walk with Nicola by herself once in the past but I see them both as equals and value both their friendships the same. The park was still a little muddy from the heavy rain and floods but we got through it. We just walked our usual round of the park which is only about 2.5 to 3 kilometres. I brought my new tripod for my iPhone which can easily fold up and fit in my pocket, I just wanted to test it out although it was very cloudy so didn’t get any good photographs. Lisa suggested that we should do the same next week and I have no complaints about that whatsoever. I enjoy our weekly walks even before lockdown we would go for small adventures and walks with their dog.

I had another walk planned with Rachel but we were both too tired to go out. Makes a very big change from where I was last year where I would have done anything to leave the house. Now, I can happily stay indoors playing video games. One thing I’m sure of is that there are many more adventures to come! I am determined to see many new places this year even if it needs to be just in Scotland.

My Crush and Desires

As my 4-year anniversary of being single is approaching I always overthink a little as the date comes around. Andy and I were together for 4 years and the date we broke up for the final time would have been our 4 year anniversary. I guess this means that we’ve almost been apart for more time than we were together. Although we broke up originally before this date, we were on/off for about 5-6 months, I like to think of the final break up as the only date that matters. 

Why do I refer to it as my “single anniversary”, could it be that I never really got over that. One of the reasons why I started writing so much. It’s true that I’ve had quite a few dates in those 4 years. Although I’ve only had 2 proper crushes, Daniel and Ben. Very different kinds of crushes but I had similar feelings and they both gave me nice sensations such as comfort of feeling that I can be myself and I felt a little happier whenever I was around them.

I could say that I’m genuinely holding out for ‘the one’. I don’t feel like playing the field is very much me anymore. I don’t want to play stupid games and I don’t want to go through too many ups and downs. I don’t even know where to begin most of the time and I’m not sure what kind of boyfriend I want but what I do know is that I would like those feelings of comfort again. 

With Valentines approaching this weekend it is another reminder of how single I am. Maybe this time next year things will be very different. These last 12 months have taught me that anything is possible.

My Sister and Nephew Visit

My sister was supposed to visit our house on my dads birthday but she came a few days earlier as before the snow came. Although we didn’t break any laws by her visiting as she is a part of our extended household she just hasn’t been to our house since Christmas Day. I don’t know what is going to happen with restrictions in the coming weeks, a ban on visiting other households is in place until the beginning of March and there’s no guarantee it will be lifted then. My nephew is almost a year hold and my parents have only seen him a handful of times. If lockdown didn’t exist She would be visiting at least every other week! I came up with the suggestion that she visits and discussed it with my mum because I wanted to surprise my dad. Everyone was so happy to be reunited and my nephew has grown so much in those 6 weeks. He is now able to walk if someone is to hold him up. His first birthday is at the end of the month and I cannot wait to see them again. That is when I will gift my sister and nephew with all the copies of the family photos I got printed. I’m still unsure what I’m going to get my nephew for his birthday, I’m thinking maybe a stuffed toy that he can play with, maybe a Pokemon plush, I would like to get him something geeky because I hope he will enjoy video games when he is older. 

Snowed Under

At the beginning of the week the snow was very heavy. At least a few inches. I had a days holiday from work so had a longer lie in bed and I didn’t really think anything of the snow. Until around 7pm when I attempted to get all the snow off my car ready for the morning. I managed to clear it off my car, including roof, no problem but I was unable to reverse out of the driveway. I got into the middle of the street and had to drive back in to my driveway. 

The next day we were all told to stay home from work as the roads were unsafe. I was a little upset but I spent the entire day playing video games. Later on the in day around 8pm I managed to get my car out to the supermarket to get some supplies and fill my car with petrol. Whenever it snows really bad I always feel a little trapped, much like I did when lockdown first became law. I enjoy my freedom and cannot wait to just be out in my car chilling with some of my friends at a nice viewpoint.

My Mental Health

I have said for years that by writing in a diary has improved my mental health. I honestly don’t know where I would be without having a way to organise my thoughts and emotions. Of course when I started my very first diary I just wanted to do it for fun and I enjoyed every entry I made. But after my 4-year relationship I felt as if I had nobody to turn to for help and the only thing I could do was write because I thought nobody else wanted to listen to my ranting or to take the time to understand my feelings. 

I’ve always had a thought that perhaps I should write directly about my mental health issues. Not just to say I have depression or that I have social anxiety, but to explain a little about how that makes me feel and how it may restrict my normal life. Everybody has different experiences with their mental health and it is important to understand those differences. You wouldn’t be able to tell how I felt just by looking at me or even if you spoke to me in public, I will probably just come across as an average person.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be writing a little more about my mental health specifically. I don’t feel like I could write it all in just one day as that is too exhausting. At times I struggle to deal with things so don’t wish to add any pressure to myself. But as long as I write about my mental health issues in more detail in the coming weeks I feel as if I could be satisfied and feel I have achieved something and to perhaps relief some of the stress that has brought on.

Forgotten and Replaced

Sometimes I get this strange feeling that if I don’t speak to someone for a few weeks I may be forgotten about. I’m not sure what that feeling is to be honest, but it’s probably one of the reasons I have very little friendships, but possibly why the friendships I have kept are so important to me. One very important friendship I had, with someone I haven’t written about since my 2012 diary, unfortunately it has been many years since I have seen her. At one point in our lives we would spend every single day together and we were always together when we went for many nights out in the city. Everybody knew us as a pair and we inseparable. Her name is Helen. I would like to write some more about Helen in this diary as I have so many stories I wish to share, some of which I am in the process of writing. 

But as for what happened between Helen and I, a lot of things happened, we just don’t talk like we used to. In fact I think the last time we text was probably over a year ago. I tried my best and it didn’t work out very well. Have I been forgotten? Has she replaced me with someone just like me?

Whenever I have an argument with a friend or we just drift apart: I get very sad. I think that they have forgotten about me and possibly hate me and no doubt they will try to replace me. When I lost a lot of friends last year before lockdown came into effect, it pains me to think that they are all still friends with each other. Like I’ve been kicked out of a club and I have been refused reentry. What if they invite someone in to take my place and they become “The New Callum”. If ever I would see that new person with them I will just try to compare myself to them and fill myself with jealousy and a little bit of anger. But there isn’t much I can do about that. 

I also have an extreme fear of missing out on something. If I don’t get invited out with my friends I feel a little left out. I feel as if I may miss something important. Also, I overthink far too much and start believing that my friends don’t want me there. The same goes for if I get a last minute invite and everybody already knows about it, was I a final thought? Or do you actually want me there.

Vaccinations at 20.4%

The vaccinations in Scotland are up to 20.4% of the population, roughly 1 in 5 people. That is the largest increase to date. My dad was one of the people to get vaccinated. The second dose still stands at 0.2% but hopefully that starts to rise in the next few weeks. Apparently the first dose number will slow down a bit for next week as they wait for a delivery to be made. They also say that the vaccine can take up to 3 weeks to take effect. I’m feeling more hopeful every week that we can all start living our lives a little more normally.

168 vaccinations have been given worldwide.

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A Better Week

This week has been a lot better than last week in terms of my mental health and just general feelings. I take great joy in doing the things that I am allowed to do and don’t mind staying at home to play video games. I feel that I have achieved so much with myself and I hope that continues throughout the year. I feel that by setting aside time on a Friday evening/night to write in my diary has given me something to look forward to and still lets me be productive. 

Walks with Nicola and Paul

Last weekend I decided to arrange a walk with Nicola and Paul to walk their dog. It had been almost an entire month since I seen them. It was so nice to be able to get out for a mini adventure. I drove about 20 minutes to get to our destination. We walked for over an hour and the paths were slippy with ice and it was dark. 

I was a little bit afraid of being outdoors meeting people during lockdown, although I am not breaking any laws. I think you’re only supposed to meet 1 person from another household I’m not actually too sure, but I met both of them. The police drove through the park and down the path we were walking on so we moved onto the grass to let them pass. It was one of the police vans that has the bright lights on top so they can shine on the sides of the roads and into the wooded area. They gave up a wave to acknowledge us so I knew we weren’t going to be stopped or questioned. We were allowed to be there as we weren’t breaking any laws in that regard. 

Lockdown has restricted the places that we adventure to as we used to drive a little further but we have always done these kinds of walks although it has just become a more regular occurrence. I think in these far from normal times it is important to retain as much normality as safely and as possible. I suggested we attempt to make these a weekly thing for the next couple of weeks. It was so good to catch up as they have recently officially moved into their new house. I can’t wait to have drinks at theirs when it is allowed. It was also a fair bit of exercise as I don’t think I have walked that far in a while, as the paths were slippy and there was a lot of elevation through the woods. We walked less than 5,000 steps but it felt like more.

Daily Diary and Memory Loss

At the beginning of the year on the 1st January I attempted a new project. This project was to take a 1 second video/selfie of myself and another 1 second video of whatever I was doing that day. By the end of the year I would have had 2 6-minute videos to sum up my year. I think I stopped on the 4th day. I lost interest pretty quickly. 

My Daily Diary, not a final name, will be a few sentences about my day or whatever is on my mind on that day. I’m not really sure how long I’ll do it for but I have high hopes. It only takes me a few minutes each day to write it and when I get some spare time I create little images and then post them to my Instagram. I really need to work on my social media presence; I feel as if it’s virtually non-existent. By writing a few sentences every day it allows me to look for the greatest moments of the day and although most days are much the same it also proves to myself of how far I’ve come with my mental health journey.

But my primary reason for writing in this weekly blog and daily diary is for my benefit. I also believe by doing this publicly I could potentially help others. I am very creative and I know that future me will love looking back on all these things that I’m doing. 

Writing My Personal Stories

Instead of focusing on writing non-fiction or poetry I have been thinking of writing some stories based on my life. I find myself telling the same stories to my friends quite regularly and I realised that there’s so many things I remember from my childhood/teens. I wonder if I would be able to write some down and possibly post them to my website. I’ve already started writing one story and bullet points for quite a few more. 

I do have a small fear that one day I might forget something. I started writing about my last family holiday I went on and I got a little confused between the two last holidays – I spent a few days thinking hard. Eventually all these nice memories came back to me and I just kept on writing as I remembered more. That brought me great joy and maybe, just maybe, I could make myself a nice wee collection of stories based on my memories. Also I feel that these stories I could potentially pass on to my nephew, I’m still a little unsure about that. 

Ben

I figured I should probably mention Ben in my diary at some point. I wrote a lot about my feelings for him throughout lockdown. I know that there is a high chance that we aren’t going to even be friends as I feel that he really doesn’t like me. But, that still doesn’t change the way I feel. I knew we were going to be working together this week so the night before I made a little bit of an effort. I hadn’t shaved for weeks and my face was very scruffy. I didn’t see the point in shaving my face as I have to wear a face covering when I’m at work so nobody really sees my face. But I decided to have a shave so I can look a little better as I take my mask off to eat and drink. I don’t think he even noticed, I wouldn’t expect him to. But it made me feel a lot better, I was happy!

At one point I was walking behind him and I just looked at him and thought… how do I actually feel. Even, how did I feel before lockdown happened. I really enjoyed his company at work before and he was the only person I genuinely got excited about seeing when I went into work during lockdown. I really wasn’t in a good place mentally as everything was falling apart but being around him gave me a sense of calmness. 

I still get a little nervous when I speak to him and I get butterflies. I bring in snacks at work and I always offer him first. Those small details don’t matter but the bottom line is that I still have a major crush. Perhaps if this is going nowhere I would like to find someone just like him. Someone to give me those same butterflies and genuine excitement to see them. But what kind of diary would this be if I didn’t talk about my latest crush, or in this case a crush of almost a year. In fact the middle of next week it would be exactly a year since we first met. 

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS4)

Last Friday I started playing Ni no Kuni. I played this game originally when it was released for the PS3 back in 2013 and I loved it then. Although it is a game I had forgotten about I am really enjoying this play through. As said previously I don’t wish to go into video game reviews in this diary as I could probably write far too much and that isn’t the focus of this diary. I do wish to record the games I play as playing video games is a big part of my life and hobbies and want to share that part of my personality with the world. As of writing this entry I have played for around 40 hours.

Playstation also released some personal statistics for 2020 and that told me that I have played 207/365 days of 2020 and I’ve spent a total of 543 hours on Final Fantasy XIV – that’s over 22 days straight! I’ve also spent 1416 hours of gameplay (59 days). I’m a little unsure of how accurate that may be as I sometimes leave my game idle when I do something else but it is a believable indicator. Also apparently I only played 23 games last year which I thought might have been more

Vaccinations at 13.6%

Today the vaccinations in Scotland are up to 13.6% of the population for the first dose, that is around 1 in 7 people. Only 0.2% have had their second dose, perhaps in a few weeks I can change the subtitle of this paragraph to the second dose. Every day I check the statistics for Scotland and the cases are coming down quite slowly. I know that all these sacrifices are worth it but it still gets me down sometimes. I just wish this could all be over.

My dad is due to get his vaccination next week and I am so happy that it is finally happening. I think I may ask if I could come in late to work so I can drive him to the vaccination centre as I don’t really want him to drive himself there. 

127 million people worldwide have had their first dose up from 91 million last week. 16.4% of the UK has had their first dose which is around 1 in 6 people.