I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote so I had a little looksie and it was the 7th, meaning it is (basically) 13 days. 

13 is an unlucky number for me… I had an operation on Friday 13th June 2008 which sealed the fate of my left arm (very nasty accident, no external feeling and funky shakes now – not sure if I’ve ever gone into it… I won’t now), I was diagnosed with my first mental health condition when I was 13… 

You probably get the picture. I could list more, but boring.

It’s been 13 days since I last wrote and things have happened. Some fabulous concerts, LOTS of caroling (brass player at Christmas, it’s our lot) and even more work and mulled wine.

Health wise… fairly positive. Quite positive, actually. For once being at home hasn’t spiralled me down, it’s actually improved me. Sure, I couldn’t really have gotten any lower but at the same time… I could. I could have sunk and not resurfaced. I don’t know what’s changed, but I’m certainly not complaining. Stress levels have shrunk considerably now I have no major jobs until the new year and my coursework is… well, I finished it about 10 minutes ago. I don’t have financial worries, I’m not anticipating any horrible emails, stress is down, depression lifting… it’s good. It’s very good.

Caroling. Oh caroling. Hours stood outside losing feeling in your feet playing the same things over and over. That’s what it’s usually been anyway… slightly different this year. Still freezing feet, still hours outside but this year is the first I’ve been caroling with a championship band and… the variety of carols they play!! There have been ones I haven’t known by heart!! If you are a brass player familiar with the SA carol book, you will know exactly why I am excited because… it’s so tedious year after year of the same dreary carols, but in a band with people who go ‘Let’s try this one, what’s the worst that could happen?’ it’s actually fun! I’ve nearly enjoyed the ridiculous amount of caroling. Being around such friendly and familiar people is infectious as well; I’ve only known them a few months but they won’t let me mope. There was one day I was feeling pretty low, and they didn’t just not talk to me and leave me alone, they didn’t stop interacting. I wasn’t responding much, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards: they were both medical professionals and they didn’t just leave me to it, they kept at it because they knew I would linger on it and it would push a message across – we don’t want you like this. Not in a forceful way, but a caring way. A way that says we want you to be happy and we’re not going to leave you alone in this. Not going to lie, I cried a few tears when I got home because… they cared. They kept joking and involving me even though I was a bit of a statue.

I love this band. I’ve found my band.

Work and mulled wine… well, they were both everywhere. But today I forced myself to sit down and do my essay for my module and I’ve done it. All of it. I’m sending it as a draft tomorrow but I’m fairly happy with it which is strange, but also one of my indicators that I’m out of the red. I want the mulled wine to stay though, I like that. The last couple of ‘formal’ carol jobs (ones organised by churches for singalongs and the such) have plied us with mulled wine and it’s rather lovely. Yesterday we were outside a lovely church in Heworth, they had bonfires going, mulled wine was everywhere and I kid you not, every 15 minutes the band were delivered hot, fresh mulled wine whilst we were playing. I love jobs like that; ‘Why yes Mrs Vicar, you can give me more mulled wine, thank you very much’. I’ve only a few more jobs before finishing in the 24th, so it’s winding down now but I’ve actually enjoyed the festive caroling season this year. 

I’ve enjoyed the last 13 days.

Unlucky 13? I’m breaking your curse.
Add on: I’m leaving the video of Bernstein here because he’s adorable. Just… watch, it’s only a few minutes and the music isn’t that bad. Just watch his face. That is a happy man. 

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