I’m here! I promise!


It’s a lot more difficult to find myself motivated to do anything after getting home from work. That’s in part from fatigue of the day…but mostly because this is the first time that I can come home and just sit on the sofa without having to worry about getting work done. I don’t have to grab my laptop and start doing data analysis or write up. It’s a great feeling to just sit and stare mindlessly. Love it.

Anyway…I have much to catch up with! I’ll certainly be back with a much longer post!

NQ out.

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The quiet cold


Have you ever just felt so incredibly alone, despite being surrounded by people? Like, the real you can only be let out in solitude. Like there’s no other voice that knows you better than the voice inside of your head.

I feel like that. Almost always. And it’s a struggle…especially when you need to just let go and there’s no one there to lean on but yourself. No one but you to wipe your tears away. Despite the friends and the family…no one to be there and just sit silently, not judging or awkward whilst you sit there and just cry.

Maybe that’s because people like us can’t be vulnerable. I know I can’t. Not to the people that think they know me. Because people put other people in boxes, we label and we judge and we can’t accept that the person who seems strong and holds it together has feelings and emotions. That this person CAN get hurt, that they have feelings are vulnerable and sensitive. I suppose in a way, it’s a testament to how good we are at keeping roles. We don’t let anyone else know that we can get hurt and that even though we keep a brave face on, so that the people we love don’t feel hurt…we hurt more on the inside than we can ever describe. More than any other person can ever know. And when we cry…we only look up and know that there’s only One who knows how we feel and only One who is silent and there…never judging us.

And because of this feeling…no matter how hot it gets, it will always be cold. Quietly cold.

Keep going, keep going, keep going.


Almost four weeks into the job and I still can’t believe that after almost 9 years of higher education, I’m finally in a full time, paid job. It’s a little victory for the person who’s desperately wanted to get her foot on the employment ladder…even though it has meant still not having submitted my PhD thesis. I suppose it’s a small consolation knowing that my thesis has been written up and from my end…it’s all done. Dusted. Written up. Cut a billion words (well, it certainly felt like it). Polished up an abstract. Wrote a list. Wrote another list. I think you’re getting the gist. But in case its’ not clear, let me explain…I was so bored yesterday that I decided to read through my thesis. That’s right, I skipped YouTube videos and Buzzfeed Tasty and went to my thesis of all things. And that followed the response of ‘You need more friends’ by a colleague. Whilst that may be true to a certain extent (*shakes head profusely*…and cue headache), actually, I just want to make sure that when I get that go ahead, that my thesis can literally be sent ahead without a second thought.

I feel like things are the ‘calm before the storm’ right now…I know that things are only just starting, with work and with the PhD. Because even though the research phase and the write up phase is done, the defence is the final and most important stage. And difficult too, let’s not forget that. Oh well, I’m getting bored just writing this and…now I understand what it must look like to see someone proofread their thesis, out of boredom.

So, as promised, here is the little hamper/basket of goodness I made for a cousin. I love putting things together. I suppose it’s the last part of my creativity left. I used to paint, sketch, design, sew and make things that were innovative and pretty to look at. Don’t get me wrong, I love science and the problem solving and analytical thought process behind it all (even though it’s incredibly frustrating about 90% of the time), but I genuinely miss the creativity. Especially with writing. I started writing a novel around 10 years ago…and although I only have 3 chapters left to finish, it simply hasn’t happened. Not just because the creativity has slowly seeped out of my ears, but also because life got in the way.

Okay…what is with this tone? Let’s be cheery and look at photos! Yeay (!) Let’s face it, food is happiness (facepalm). So let’s eat, sleep and be merry.

 

Two levels on a lift, one giant leap of faith.


I feel like it’s been forever since I last posted, and in the blogosphere…it most certainly is long! But, I have cake…or rather I HAD cake.

Here you go.

 

Kake temptations is based in Leicester and I’ve been drooling and dreaming of cakes for months now! Especially since I spend almost everyday stalking their Instagram page (despite not having Instagram!). And whilst I was VERY excited, I must say that I wasn’t completely disappointed. I really, really enjoyed the red velvet cheesecake (that gets a huge 4.5/5) and I really liked the texture of the Victoria sponge (4/5). My mum and I agreed that we liked both, but siblings were a little less keen with the sponge (found it too sweet and not tart enough?). But the red velvet cheesecake was a winner by far! PJ also agreed with the siblings…but on re-tasting (after a nudge!) the sponge was good! Wahay! A potential contender for a big cake!

*drum roll* I’ve also gotten a job! Yeay! Everything happened so quickly that it’s been difficult to keep on top. It’s a research position and clinical-ish! So a huge step forward for me! AND…(gosh lots of huge breaking news!) I’ve finished my thesis write up completely! And now just awaiting feedback, fingers crossed!

Wedding season has hit and the first of the season is this weekend (follow up for the little bridal basket I made!) and that means lots of shopping (for reasons that only the crazy female brain can comprehend). It seems as if everything is on track….Oh!!! And I’m going back to Saudi!! Wahay! IA for the last few days of Ramadhan! 2018, you have been very kind, hope you remain kind!!

 

Peace Out! NQ (eventually to be Mrs NQ, eek!)

You say snow, I say samosa!


Well, we all know what has dominated the headline in the past week…’The Beast from the East’, which has a slightly funny connotation in my own mind, aside from the sand like snowstorms. So what does that mean for Britain? Well, mainly panic, and of course from my own perspective, being afraid to walk outside after experiencing a comedic fall a few months ago. I now look at the snow, see ice and then immediate associate it with falling down and not only bruising my ‘ego’ but also the limb which is landed on. So what do I do to distract myself from writing my thesis when I have no other option but to stay indoors? I make samosas…from scratch. That’s right, procrastination again! I sometimes think I should change my PhD to ‘Doctorate of Procrastination’.

So here you are, some people look at snow and think ‘let me get cosy’, I say ‘let me freeze in the kitchen and make samosas’. Absolutely. Worth it. Which of course is naturally vegan!

 

It only makes sense to also have some images of the snow, after all we all did panic quite a bit, but lucky for us, it all disappeared on Sunday with A LOT of rain! That certainly put me at ease, no ice for me to slip on, but the again I’ve been known to slip on air (facepalm). But the disappearance of the ‘Beast’ has another important reason, which I will indulge in another post. So for now, look at the snow!

 

What time is it? It’s Vegan time!


Yummy vegan and vegetarian food!

The ‘Wicked Kitchen’ range of exclusively vegan food is actually Wicked; from what I’ve managed to try, they’ve managed to get a lot of flavour into their products, which is something I often find lacking in most packaged foods, especially catered for vegetarians/vegans. My favourite has to be the sourdough caponata pizza with mint salsa verde (tasted amazing!).

So as the title may hint, I’ve been experimenting with a changeup of my dietary habit, just because! I’ve always liked vegetarian/vegan food, but it’s always been very Indian, and as I’ve mentioned before a lot of Gujarati food is vegetarian, in fact on closer inspection it’s actually vegan. So I figured why not!

It started off quite easy and for the first two weeks (the last two of Veganuary) it was great, I was very strict with what I would eat and I actually found myself more focussed and more energetic, probably because I wasn’t binge eating as much nor was I indulging. I actually really enjoyed the vegan food I cooked at home, and sometimes it would end up being vegetarian if I could escape certain ingredients, but nonetheless, I really enjoyed cooking and eating freshly made food at home! I even managed to re-write my results chapters for my thesis and write the majority of my conclusion too.

But the great start was not to last, a few cravings later and I found myself seriously wanting a different texture and taste, notably chocolate. And of course, since JamJar recently opened in Coventry, it was a no brainer. The mix chocolate cookie dough was divine! Very indulgent but perfectly sweet, not too much and not too little and the hazelnut gelato was a much preferred accompaniment to the hot cookie dough over vanilla ice cream served elsewhere. If I had more of a sweet tooth I would be going back regularly! But luckily I’m not overly hyped on dining out! Save the pennies AND the pounds! A necessity for a student.

So whilst it lasted it was certainly interesting, I lasted a lot longer than I had initially given myself credited for and I think I’m certainly going to change my dietary habits, mostly cutting back on the binge eating and trying to consciously include freshly cooked vegetables into my everyday eating pattern. And although ‘Wicked Kitchen’ is incredibly pricey, I will certainly be looking out for offers and marked down prices, because the food is good and the tub is reusable! Perfect!

 

PS. Food listed from left to right, top row: Mustard seed potatoes (Gujarati – rai vara bataka), Chana masala, Delhi dal makhni (ready to eat range from Ashoka). Bottom row: Gluten free mac and cheese with spicy mushrooms, Spiced brussel sprouts and sugar snap peas, Mushroom curry.

A very late start to the year…


Three weeks into the new year and only now I find myself ready to write something. It’s odd how a few days of perpetual writing can affect the brain…even if it seems that the content is no where near the same. I’ve pretty much completed my thesis (certainly the official draft) and after a chaotic approach to all things ‘supervisory’…it would appear that the breadth of the storm was not as predicted. My chapters are being ‘looked’ at by someone other than my DoS, and in the case of prolonged absence, I have a team shuffle which is ready and willing to go. Sorted. Or so one would think, if that was all that had caused my incredible apathy of late…surely I’d have a spring in my step now? But the reality is that I am still very much laden with apathy and a sense of relentless hopelessness…which can only be shifted in periods, only to return back to where it came. My three concerns and points of distress currently stand as life, job and thesis…and perhaps I should’ve titled my blog post as such.

The truth is, that unlike my other postings, where I somehow talk myself out of a rut and get myself motivated, this post won’t achieve that. It’s not about whether I can create an environment where I remind myself of my capabilities and surrender to the laws of nature which often do the opposite of what one desires. This post is a reminder that whilst one can be motivated, driven and passionate (from angles one never dreamed)…if there are others involved, the process is never going reach the anticipated outcome. Dependence on others to do the right thing, is common sense, just like when you are entrusted with a responsibility which would affect someone else, you most certainly will give due diligence. But sadly…this isn’t the world we live in, at least not anymore. I’m glad that it doesn’t take too much for me to write how I feel and it does help getting it off my chubby yet narrow shoulders. The weight of my world is often too much to take…and without anyone to share it with, it seems to be the very thing that will crush me. My dreams, aspirations and desires is what’ll be the end of me. How incredibly glum.

So, let’s veer away from that for the moment, and ignore that we are currently living in a world much like that portrayed in Idiocracy, and let’s try and see a way through this all. What I’m saying is that we all need a little bit of positive change, there’s been far too much negativity, and sometimes just one small happy thought is enough to change world. So what’s my small, happy thought going to be, you ask? Well…given my particular view…it can only be the feeling one gets when you see a soft little blanket of snow fall, and even with all the elements out there to destroy it…it leaves it mark, and even when it’s gone, it’s not forgotten.

 

Let’s make 2018 the year we change everything that we’re unhappy about. NQ out.