Tonight I went to the first session of six in learning to control stress. I initially agreed to go because a friend asked if I would like to come with her, and I decided that it sounded like something that could potentially be very useful to me as I got myself in such a tizz last year.
So we got off the train and swiftly realised that we didn’t know where we needed to go. Thankfully my phone is now equipped with map software that actually works (sorry Blackberry, but Nokia takes you down!), so we worked out a route. We got more panicked as we missed our first turning, which turned out to be down a narrow alleyway, and eventually found the Baptist Church we were meant to arrive at. All the doors were locked and the lights were out. We realised that we were meant to be at the church hall, and proceeded to look round the building for said hall (there was a sign on the side trying to point us to it). No luck. By this time we had been joined by another woman. Eventually, a couple of guys came out of a building that looked very much like a bungalow and asked the three of us, who by this point were looking very uptight, if we were looking for the stress management course. Cue giggles all round when we finally made it inside.
On arrival we were handed a massive manual (this is definitely a situation in which I would happily apply the word ‘hench’) and that thing dreaded above all others; the depression and anxiety form. Upon circling the numbers for corresponding statements, even though I am not 100% on how it is measured, I could see that I’ve gone severely downhill since the last time the doctor made me do the test (I could have told you this anyway, but seeing it on paper is nasty!). This instantly set me off and I spent about 20 minutes wanting to cry. The more the women talked, the more I realised that this isn’t a place it might be useful to be, it is a place I need to be. The course is strongly centred on depression, anxiety, and panic. My three favourite words. So there we have it; I have inadvertently started trying to fix myself. Although when they talked about vicious circles I did draw a circle with fangs on my friend’s manual like the mature being I clearly am…
Today has been one of those inexplicably busy but fantastic days. Yes, there has been emotional upheaval, but I have not only survived stress control, I made it through an intense seminar AND Postgrad Forum (straight after each other. I had to take tea in my alumni travel mug that I thought I would never find a use for). I also finally went to the Falafel Bar.
This place is amazing! I’ve always been told so, but for some reason I never got a chance to go (damn it, I only had my first Magic Wrap last year!). After the forum some of us ventured out, planning on getting lunch in the pub. On looking at the menu and remembering how little choice there is for veggies the three of us somehow came to the conclusion that we should go to the Falafel Bar, opting to battle on through the rain up Woodville Rd to reach this haven of chickpea based wonder. It is very cosy inside, and we were lucky to get a table. I had also discovered in the pub that I had left my purse at home, and my friend was a beautiful person and paid for me to have falafel, a drink, and a cookie. I owe her £5, or lunch at some point! That £5 is absolutely worth it: the most amazing massive pitta bread stuffed with falafel, which the owner then instructs (and shows you how, if it’s your first time) to squish in order to fit in as much salad as possible. The salad even includes gherkin! You also get a can of drink (and they had vanilla coke – my guilty pleasure!), and a massive cookie. Seriously, it was a beast. And homemade. It was beautiful! Two of us went for double chocolate cookie, but we have now renamed the combination as ‘Super Chocolate’.
If you get the chance, go! We will be going back because someone was served coffee whilst we were there, and it was the most heavenly smell! The instant stuff from Lidl that we made up when we got back to the postgrad suite didn’t have anything on the scent of this stuff alone!
Upon reaching home after an afternoon of grappling with Eduard Hanslick I was made even more content by the arrival of the Star Wars prequels trilogy, meaning that I finally have the complete set and can spend the evenings this weekend having a mini Star Wars marathon (it’s orchestra weekend so my daytimes are sort of lost…). I also got given a bar of galaxy free on the way home!
Things may not always be the best, but they are most certainly good! And, of course, settling down to write with a mug of my favourite Dreamtime tea after a satisfying day always helps!