Real Life: Bookworm Strikes Back

I feel like it’s been a while since I had a Sunday of pure relax. For the past 3-4 weekends, I’ve always had coursework to do, so there wasn’t much “weekend” to enjoy fully. I submitted all of my big assessments this week, and I’ve therefore decided to take this weekend ‘off’ from studying and just purely dedicate it to myself and practice some personal self-care. And I thought I’d write what I’ve been up to as well.

University is still in full swing, but thankfully I was able to rest a bit after Wednesday, as that was the day where I had three assessments due (and the one for radio class was quite chunky as well). Pre-production on the class documentaries has started and to my joy, Peter’s idea ended up being one of the most popular ones and it got picked to be turned into a full documentary (with me being allocated to his group, of course). To my surprise, I had around 5 people come up to me to tell me that my idea was great too and that I was in their top 3 choices — something which I wasn’t expecting at all! I still really like my documentary idea, so for now I’ve decided to just let it sit at the back of my head until I turn it into something concrete at some point soon. 😄

I must say, I’m quite happy with my classmates — they’re all fun, interesting and lovely people to be around, and so far I’ve gotten along with all of them! There are some people my age (27) and some people who are slightly older, too, which is a good mix and definitely helps me not feel alone. I feel like I’ve found a good bunch of people who come from different walks of life, are creative and in general are just a good influence on me.

The flat is still lovely. Now that the weather is getting colder, I am appreciating it even more. It’s just incredibly warm and well-insulated, so much so that I’ve only had to put the heating on three times since we’ve moved. It’s kind of sad to realise that the reason I am so excited about a well-insulated property is because it’s been years since I’ve lived in one; being warm and not freeze myself off was a luxury I wasn’t used to anymore in our old flat. I still remember vividly how, this time (and even earlier) last year, our flat suddenly became freezing cold and it was constantly dark due to the location (an alley) that made it difficult for the very little autumn/winter sunlight to enter the property. It was downright depressing. The electric heating was so expensive and it almost made no difference, since the poorly insulated windows never trapped the warmth inside anyway. We just made do with hot water bottles and blankets. I sometimes wonder how I managed to survive in that flat for two full years…

But anyway. The new flat is the complete opposite. 💕 I’ve been enjoying the quiet and the warmth, a lot. I’ve been soaking in a warm bath at least once every weekend for the past three weeks — I missed having relaxing baths! I even read while in them and it’s so lovely — it just relaxes me completely. The quiet has been a godsend for my coursework, my sleep and, specifically this weekend, for my reading, too.

I’ve gone back into reading full-force. 📚 I could see I wasn’t reading as much as I used to due to university, so I decided to get back into it. I started reading Dune last weekend and I made it to page 100 in two days, before I had to stop to make sure my coursework would be submitted by Wednesday. I’ve kept reading it this weekend, along with other books. Even though I told myself I would only concentrate on Dune… I didn’t keep that promise for very long. I started finally reading Das Kapital, which has been on my to-read-soon list for the past year. I don’t expect to finish it anytime soon, but as long as I read it in small chunks, I’m happy. I finally finished The Time Machine and I’m a little bit sad that I didn’t enjoy it more. I loved the beginning and I liked the ending — however, the book lost me in the middle, which is a shame. I even feel bad saying it, because I love sci-fi, and I know H.G. Wells is one of the fathers of sci-fi. I’ve decided that I will read War of the Worlds as well, so that I may form a better opinion of his style and works before deciding whether I like him as an author. I also read Persepolis Volume 2, which I wasn’t planning on doing this weekend, but I had this sudden itch to read a graphic novel and I remembered that I never finished Persepolis. I actually devoured it: I started it and finished it yesterday evening — I couldn’t seem to put it down. I liked the second volume a lot more than the first one — partially, I think, because it was so relatable to me: I saw myself a lot in the author (who is the main character of the comic) and could relate exceptionally to her struggles of feeling like a failure, having high expectations for herself and putting pressure on herself because of it. God knows how many times I’ve done that. Lastly, this morning I started Franny & Zooey by Salinger. I’m not entirely sure why I did it, but I felt I needed something light and short to carry me over while I read Dune and Capital, which I find to be pretty “heavy” books. I don’t consider Salinger ‘light’ reading, as in, ‘simple’ — I know there’s a lot going on beneath the surface and the things he writes really make you think about things, humans and life — but I absolutely adore his style and he always manages to grab my full attention in just a couple of paragraphs. He’s one of those authors I could read all day and never get tired. I finished Franny this morning because of that — I started it and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It was a great short story and a line from it really hit me (so much so that I might make a blog post or youtube video about it).

So yeah, even though I wanted to only concentrate on one book… I ended up reading/finishing 4 others this weekend. I honestly forgot how much of a voracious reader I can be when I want to.

Partially it’s also thanks to my environment, I feel: the flat is so quiet, there are no loud drunk people outside at every hour of the day disturbing my reading and I actually managed to make myself a cosy little reading nook in the bedroom! I only have a lamp light on, which has a very warm, orange light that isn’t too harsh on the eyes, and I can sit back knowing nothing and no one will disturb me; it’s just me and my book, in complete peace and quiet. It’s so lovely. ❤

I splurged a tiny bit of money earlier in the week and got myself a backpack off Ebay. I used to have lots of backpacks back in Italy, but here in Scotland I have never had one for some reason — I never brought one with me and I always ended up having to borrow my ex-flatmate’s one for those times when I wanted to bring my laptop to college without having to carry multiple bags and injuring my back. However, as I am not living with her anymore, I can’t do that, obviously — and I feel bad putting my notebook and lunchbox in Peter’s backpack because it’s not actually that big, and it becomes heavy easily. So I went online to look for a durable, waterproof one (since I live in a very rainy country) and found out about Kanken backpacks, which are not only durable but also environment-friendly, which is super important to me. I really liked the look of them, but they are super pricey and there was just no way I’d be able to buy one and still afford rent… So I did what I usually do: I went on Ebay to look for second-hand ones — and I found one! I found a model that has a specific padded compartment at the back just for the laptop, while still having lots of room in the main pocket. The best thing about it is that it was a third of the price of a new backpack! 😄 The only ‘flaw’ with it was that it was used and the colour had “faded” a bit, but honestly, I couldn’t care less about that as long as the backpack itself is not broken. I feel like I got a good bargain here — and that also means that I can get rid of a laptop bag I have that was bought for me the first year I came to Scotland, but that I honestly never use because it just ends up hurting my back and being very cumbersome, as it doesn’t hold anything more than a laptop and a mouse, hence I need to carry a second bag with it for my other stuff. This will do nicely with my quest for a more minimalist life and giving away things I don’t use to other people who can benefit from them. 😊 Plus, it’s going to be a great bag to bring on planes, since taking out the laptop is so easy and it’s spacious enough to hold all of my stuff and more! (Not that I can afford travelling at the moment, but it’s nice to know going through airport checks won’t have to be that much of a pain anymore.) I’m just waiting for it to arrive in the post and then I can start using it.

I’ve made some more friends on discord — specifically, I’ve been pretty active in a Warhammer discord where people play Total War, Blood Bowl and MTG Arena. I’ve gone back to playing Blood Bowl after taking a break for a few months and I’m actually enjoying it again and learning how to play it better — though people in the discord who are more experienced than me told me that I don’t actually play that badly! So that was nice. Plus, everyone is really funny and we all have good fun watching each others’ matches and having our “Blood Bowl parties.” 😆  I’ve gotten into MTG Arena and I am still playing Fable whenever I have some time (and am not reading books). I’m enjoying both a lot.

Looks like I’m a happy bookworm and gamer again. 😄

I’ve been pretty inspired recently to write and work on my youtube videos again as well, though I can’t say when I’ll upload something. I’m still working on some of my anxieties regarding youtube, but I think I’ve made some progress recently and I feel a tiny bit more comfortable.

I’m not sure if this was an interesting entry to read, but I’ve missed just writing casually about stuff going on in my life. This weekend especially was so enjoyable and I felt like my old self again and writing in my blog completed the picture, in a way — made me feel just like old times.

I’m off to enjoy the end of my Sunday. ❤

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