I have a headache. It might be because I’ve neglected to wear my glasses for the last few weeks, but have simultaneously upped my computer usage while I try to negotiate the Big Move. Might be because I’ve had a bit too much sugar and caffeine today.

Might be fatigue, might be muscle spasm, might be a virus.

Might be my poor brain trying to understand whether or not my UK iPhone will work in the USA, and if so, how do I get a good deal on a mobile contract? I pay £6 per month, and so far the cheapest option I’ve found over there for something remotely comparable is over $40 per month. I’m not even certain that my UK phone (unlocked, bought from the Apple shop, and destined to be used until it dies) will be recognised by the US networks, which seem to have a will of their own.

Might be my brain trying to figure out how to pay the bills. Might be the fierce desperation that I have to suddenly and inexplicably win the lottery, so that I can suddenly and inexplicably buy a homestead of my own. The nesting instinct is powerful these days.

Might be the sadness that is starting to set in, as I begin to understand that I am moving far away from my closest friends, from my close-knit family, and from everything that is familiar to me.

Might be the many hours spent at the sewing machine today, making bunting.

I think I’ve lost my mind…


September already?! I need a sit down, the year is going by so fast.

This isn’t really a bad thing, given that I needed time to pass quickly so that I could get back to my real life as quickly as possible, and get out of this sticky no man’s land of waiting.

Less than 48 hours of waiting now. The official verdict will be in. Getting my visa has been a long and tiresome process, although judging by the forums on Visa Journey, our application has been relatively smooth, swift, and uncomplicated. I feel rather lucky about that.

Current projects include making bunting at the kitchen table for next year’s celebrations. It’s oddly soothing.

The to-do list

Well, gosh…

I always imagine that, at some point, I will be on the winning side of my to-do list. I’ll eventually have fewer things to do than I have already done, and the end will be in sight. Occasionally I dream that I will have nothing left to do, and then I can mess about being creative and frivolous (and play Xbox).

On my brief trip out to Washington last month, I drew up a to-do list in the first day or so, and then spent the entire visit adding to it. A few things were crossed off, such as “buy Xbox”, and generally I’m pleased with what I got done at the new house, but I left behind so many tasks that I felt I should have been able to conquer if I hadn’t been wallowing in illness and misery on the couch.

Being ill in America is very crappy, and I do not recommend it.

I have come back to the UK for what I hope to be the last time before I get permission to be in the US for the foreseeable future. My to-do list here is growing by the day. I grapple most with the strange way that other people’s to-do lists seem to end up being put on to mine, because I have “nothing else to do but wait around”, as I was told this morning.

How glorious it is when your work is tangible, and you can show somebody what you’ve been doing all day, when they can see you physically toiling away on an object or a task with immediately measurable results. What a luxury it must be not to have to explain that you might appear to be freely available, but you are in fact masterminding a global operation. It just happens to involve a lot of sitting down.

All I can do at this point is get my glasses on, get my head down, and get on with what needs doing, and attempt to hold it all together without having a meltdown.

I think Cowboy is expecting a meltdown soon. He usually knows before I do…

"She’s not doing well."

If he had meant to make me think that he was about to break up with me, Cowboy did a good job this afternoon. He sent me a few cryptic messages, and ended them with the dreaded “call me later and we can talk about it” phrase. I imagined all kinds of disasters, reasons for him to leave me, accusations and other awful relationship woes.

It was worse than that. It was news about Sunshine.

My girl is sick :( I hate that kind of news.

She had a cough and a runny nose when I was there, and we put it down to the cold weather. She has been this way for over a month now, and has lost weight. Cowboy sounded worried. That’s how I know that serious shit is going down.

He’s wormed her, and is giving her a course of antibiotics for a week. If she’s not looking up by then, it’ll be time to call the vet. I hope above all hopes that she bounces back and there is nothing more ominous that she has to endure. Here is more news that I am now waiting for…

It is telling that the thought of losing her makes me as emotional as it does. It might be just down to old memories of losing Domino so swiftly I didn’t even fully understand how sick he was, but part of it is definitely about her. For all her issues, I adore her spirit.

Be better, Sunshine. Please.

"I feel stronger…"

I am a bit of a nerd, secretly. I love a good RPG on the X-Box or on my computer. I adore those roaming adventure games where you build your trusty band of comrades and go on quests.

One of the games of years gone by that I loved (but never finished), was Planescape: Torment, an epic game of storytelling and imagination. I think I only played it through the once.

What stuck with me most was what the only playable character would say when you had enough experience to level up. In his gruff, battle-worn voice, he would growl:

I feel stronger…

I feel like I’m levelling up. Today, I completed the third run of the Couch to 5k programme – that’s week one done and dusted. It was tough, but probably because I chose to run up and down hills in the village, instead of running on the flat. It was good to see the little progress map move to week two. It was good to get home feeling like I could have gone on for longer.

I feel stronger. Apart from how my knees hurt, and I have a new pain in my shoulder.

My mental fortitude still leaves a lot to be desired, as I can think of nothing but chocolate, biscuits and cake at the moment.

No news from the school in Seattle yet. The suspense is killing me.