The week before Christmas…

It is nearly the end of the year and I find myself blogging less as I socialise more.
The weekend saw me thankful for an incredible lie in and lots of being at home relaxing- life has been pretty non stop recently and I really wanted some down time.  I chilled with the paper, a decadent breakfast of a mango followed by salmon and avocado on toast. It was great and reminded me that quality is better than quantity!  I hung out with Doerthe that evening, again reminded and thankful for the disposable income that is mine to be spent in nice bars in West Hampstead. I was also thankful to hang out with Doerthe- a ‘doer’ and who I have not spent time with for a year given On Sunday, I tackled the pile of presents that had started to take over my room and wrapped all bar the twin’s presents.  I spent the rest of Sunday relaxing whilst watching Merlin and I was thankful for the TV distraction via my laptop! I am interested in volunteering abroad for a few months and money seems to be my biggest problem at the moment, so whilst I am inspired, I need some more time and funds…


And so on to the week before Christmas.


Monday ended pleasantly at Tolli restaurant in Kentish Town with very good company, courtesy of Mike and Metadata. I ate so much I couldn’t sleep later that evening but the anti pasti, roast lamb with vegetables and mince pie with custard were absolutely worth it! It was the last time of seeing certain friends in 2011, so I was grateful to be able to spend such a nice evening together, eating and drinking and making merry.


Tuesday.
I have decided that having a party or social do on a Monday just does not do. The rest of the week seems to stretch ahead of you interminably, and of course you have to get up the following morning and head to work. No fun. And so with little to do at work apart from basic admin, I awoke on Tuesday feeling a lil bit grumpy. Nonetheless, I was grateful for my penultimate Christmas present arriving from Amazon; that Hannah lent me the Aloe Blacc album; for an amazing home made mince pie and seeing the view across Vauxhall bridge at night. I had a good little chat with Gok on the way home which I am also thankful for.


Wednesday.
I have finally wrapped all of the familial christmas presents and shall be rid of half of them later this evening which given their weight, I will be very grateful for. I have also finished creating data cds of various UK, US and world music for my Gambian friends and in the process learnt how to make said cds which I am grateful for. Fingers crossed they get there in one piece! And tomorrow is my last day at work- what else could a thankful girl need?


I recently read another, very honest blog which highlighted the cathartic nature of blogging. I am aware that this blog presents a nice, grateful picture of my life and I do not blog about the mornings when I don’t want to go to work; when I feel so lonely I want to cry; when I feel so ungrateful for everything in my life that I have to give myself a good talking to. But these times do happen and more frequently than I’d like. This blog makes me re-assess each day, those times when I write off my day as average or just plain shite, but then I have to write here and I realise that good things have happened that day. I want more good things to happen each day and I do want to be even more thankful for each day.  


I want to thank again everyone that has texted, emailed or come up to me and said that they have enjoyed the blog, with this encouragement it motivates me more to write and the more I am motivated to write, the more I have to think about the good things in my life. If that makes sense! 



Today I was grateful for our intern Lisanne’s amazing typing ability as she was able to finish some admin for me in record time! I am thankful that it is the weekend so I can get some sleep, sort out my piles of washing and wrap up the many presents cluttering my bedroom!

I am thankful that I did my last secondary workshop today; and that the temporary housemates came home today so the house is full and I am not alone in the house! I am also thankful that it is nearly the weekend!

The Christmas season is upon us and I feel like there is a never ending list of things to do at the moment. I was feeling pretty ungrateful an hour ago but its amazing the restorative effect of reading part of the Saturday Guardian; having a fish pie (not a finest Bart, have to budget these days lol) whilst watching Gossip Girl.

So gratefulness this week.
Monday was our team day and I had a really good time as well as getting on well  with the people in my team which I was a bit anxious about; more people want to join Feminist book club and my secret Santa gift of peanut butter fudge was received well.

Tuesday I was a bit grouchy but we went to our local Sixth form and through a good team effort conducted a useful workshop with a lively group. I was really thankful to Danielle coming over that evening; and also one of my sisters was nicer to me than she had been in a while which makes me look forward to spending Christmas en famille.

Today I am grateful that I read online the beginning of a book I had ordered for my 14 year old sister, turns out it is better for the 18 year old. I am grateful that I have very nearly done all my Christmas shopping, ordering online and getting it delivered to work gives me the two fold pleasure of- a) receiving a parcel in the post and b) re-reading the blurb and getting excited about reading the books. I have treated myself to several new books for the Christmas period- a fantasy novel, two books on Gambia & Senegal and also have received my feminist book reading for January.

The weekends always end up being massive posts but today I am knackered so will make this short and sweet:

Friday: Emile’s leaving drinks, spent a good evening with lots of lovely people. I am blessed to work with fab colleagues, including my managers who both told me that I am beautiful, which was really nice to hear. I’m slightly awkward about compliments, depends on who is giving them really, but its always nice to be given compliments! The lovely Mike Goodland also deserves a mention here for being an incredibly generous man.

Saturday: Post Gambia I have realised how lucky I am to have a disposable income and that I am able to spend silly amount of money on Xmas presents, going out and spending time with family and friends. I am most thankful for finding an absolute gem of a cd for one of my Gambian friends, he had asked if I could send him some songs for nursery children and whilst Xmas shopping, I found the perfect cd.

Sunday: I am grateful to Sam for picking up the ingredients for my secret santa this morning, meant I could have a lot longer in bed! I also had a really nice time with my sister going to the cinema, sharing chocolate and learning about ‘imprinting’ in Breaking Dawn.

On Wednesday I had a really good session at our local 6th form college, I helped two sixth formers start researching volunteering and a potential gap year. I inadvertently started a big debate with several students regarding aid to Africa, changing the system or not and as I walked back to work I was brimming over with ideas and thankful that I get paid to work with interesting young people.

This was followed by our Feminist book club event; it was nice to do something different with new and old friends and the discussion of the play certainly sparked a lot of debate.

Today, I am not so sure.
Nonetheless I’m glad that Howard managed to burn a cd of music I’d put together for one of our Gambian friends. I had a little chat about Kenya with some students, as I definitely want to explore more of Africa next year and we had a laugh about African toilets! Lastly, I was bought a nice cup of tea by a friend this evening as I have got into the lamentable habit of not taking enough cash out with me. And I received a lovely email about this blog.

Yesterdays new perspective and subsequent positive feeling spilled over into to today and I am grateful that I have got choices and that I am free to go wherever I want if I want to.
I am grateful that I have enough spare cash to buy gifts for my family and to treat myself to several new books- a fantasy novel, one about Gambia and one about Senegal.
I am thankful that I have good people around me and that I am trusted by others. I am also thankful that I have a lovely younger sister that wants to hang out with me :). 
On another note- It has been really lovely to receive nice comments about my blog, especially about my Gambia posts so thank you to all you people as the Gambians would say!
Here’s to a wonderful Wednesday.