#cranes (at Woodberry Down Estate)
Now I’ve reached the end of my (sort of) holiday. This time is always fairly depressing. I took this break at home with my parents to sort my life out mentally and emotionally, but I don’t feel at all closer to a resolution, of one is even possible, and I’m just filled with amazing apprehension of going back to work and London. It’s getting to the pony where I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. But then moving out just seems like a big mistake (basically accepting that I’ll never be a big shot.
Money can’t buy a nice lunch out in Rotherham. I can say this, not just because I have experience in the matter, but also because if Rotherham were a country, my heritage would probably give me an entitlement to permanent residence. Not that I would want to reside here. There’s something strangely not quite picturesque about the landscape here.
The formula for a sci-fi movie is usually pretty straightforward. There’s a status quo of some kind, or a situation that has to be resolved; the crew go in to fix things, or the heroes try to resolve the situation, but it turns out to be a lot more complicated than initially imagined, or there is something unexpected lurking beneath the surface; the crew are shaken up, usually only the core remain, and, by using their ingenuity, out-smart the enemy (natural or otherwise) and everyone is happy ever after.
Sometimes it’s the really not very cool, or particularly embarrassing, movies that make me feel good. Sci-fi is my go-to source for feeling at one with my self. I watched lots when I was a kid, and watching the same sci-fi movies again shrinks the distances that I feel I’ve travelled. Plus some are just good movies.
The lay of the land (at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden)
It’s actually sunny here. And studies show that if a person is asked how they feel about their life on a sunny day, they are ridiculously more likely to be positive, both in the short and long term, than if they are asked about their life on a rainy day. Which is sort of why I wonder why living in Manchester could possibly be a good short and long term thing for me.
But then, looking in rightmove, something occurs to us that we (well, I) could actually afford to buy a house here. Big mortgage of course, but the places we could get would be great, and it would be so much better than our tiny little flat for two at the moment. The last few weeks and months have also really taken their tole on me. I’ve made it to a year PQE, but how much further I don’t know now. I do want to make it two years, and by all accounts that would be a pretty good innings, but that would be another 11 months, and if it gets worse then I won’t be able to manage.
Also Manchester is the wrong side of the Pennines for me. I am north east, not west, and I’d be moving into a city where Madeleine knows people, but I don’t really know anyone except through her. Sure, work might be a possible outlet, and I would definitely have to make a bigger and more sustained effort with my colleagues than I at the moment, but if it’s anything like my current law office then it’s not exactly going to be a never ending party. Outside if work is a possibility, especially friends of friends, but if my hours are at all bad, or if I start to lack energy or (because of the weather) become depressed, that’ll be a narrowing avenue.
I find it so hard thinking about what to do with the next stage of my life. I’m trying to balance what I really want to achieve against what I think my body and mind can stand without knowing what I want to achieve or what my body or mind will want to go through. Madeleine is pushing her own agenda in all of this, which is perfectly reasonable and quite understandable, but through my own inertia I could easily end up subsidising a life that I don’t want in a city where I don’t feel happy.
So, if the human body can only survive without sleep for circa 7 days, then last week I was as close to death as I’d ever been. I estimate I clocked about four hours (of pretty rubbish, light sleep) in four days (although on the fourth day I rested). Which actually doesn’t sound that bad, and probably isn’t so uncommon on those horrific Brits-abroad adolescent holiday islands. But it was intense work, and I hadn’t exactly had an easy ride the previous week, or indeed the previous six months. I’m on holiday now but I actually feel ruined.