Photo by Chris Scott

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The only way is up, baby.

It's been a grand total of four months since I last updated this. A lot can happen in four months, and a braw lot has happened.

- I turned 25.

- I attended the Shetland Folk Festival, which was the year's highlight at that point so far, and still is.

- I lost my job, for reasons I won't go into, and from which I'm still recovering financially (although emotionally I think it's been a slight improvement).

- I eventually became so skint the Ethiopians were throwing a benefit concert for me (I know, not very PC but no less accurate for that), and that point, roughly at the beginning of July, I finally resolved to move back to Shetland. I kept this pretty quiet among the people I know, because as much as shit went wrong and the sheen had started to come off Glasgow for me, I've made a good number of pals in seven years there that I'd have been sad to say goodbye to - particularly since, at that point, it didn't look like I was coming back, and I really wanted to. But more on that later.

- Glusstonberry happened. The link shall reveal all.

- A week and a half later, my dad came down on the boat with his Berlingo (that's not his actual Berlingo by the way, but his isn't too dissimilar), helped me pack up all the worldly possessions I could fit in it, and after a last visit to his pal's shop for an overdue catch up and a last cheerio, we made the long drive to Aberdeen and the longer ferry to Shetland. Long journeys make for some good father-daughter bonding time, particularly when discussing the CDs currently rotating on the car stereo (such as Mudcrutch's album), taking the piss out of my sister's sat nav, for which she'd purchased the voice of Snoop Dogg (not even kidding, Dad told it to fuck off every time it said "turn right, nephew!"), and drinking a Crabbie's or three in the ferry's main bar before turning in to our cabin for the night. It was a good start to my indefinite time at home.

So I ended up ensconced at my Mam's, safe and sound and looking forward to not having to pay bills. That said, I was dreading being stuck miles from anywhere, unable to drive still, and being miles away from my nearest Job Centre. Back in Glasgow the Job Centre had been a mere mile and a half up the road, whereas in Shetland it was going to be 23 miles from my house. Since the bus services are quite crap up north, it was inevitable that any sign on time I was allocated was going to result in me being stuck in Lerwick for a couple of hours with fuck all to do.

Then this week happened.

I've had two job offers, which means I can sign off Jobseekers' (because let's face facts here people, no matter where you go in life, Job Centres are always, always hideous and soul destroying places). But best of all, I also discovered I had a place on the MLitt in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, a pretty prestigious course in its field (not to toot my own trumpet or anything). As much as I'm in utter disbelief that they let me have a place (I was sure I'd never get into a Masters after scraping a 2:2 for my Bachelors' following an academic year that went horribly wrong), I'm equally elated about it. While I'm loving being settled back in Shetland for the time being, because I think I've been needing it, I'm feeling good about the prospect of returning to Glasgow to do something I actually want to do, as opposed to being stuck in a dead end job or similar situation that I'd loathe. Plus, I miss my friends already.

I wouldn't say everything's perfect. I still have depression and beat myself up a lot over silly things. But I hope I'll eventually get it under control before too long, and that it won't still be affecting me in a year or so. For now, though, things have taken a turn for the better, and I can't wait to see how the coming years will progress.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Hello again, blog.

To the few of you who bother to keep up with this blog...I'm so, so sorry for the lack of updates. But the fact is, I just haven't felt like it.

A few developments have taken place in recent months:

1 - I have been diagnosed with depression, which I'd been suspecting I had for years but has recently worsened to the point that I didn't even bother to get out of bed some days. I finally decided to go to my doctor and tell her how I'd been feeling. I was prescribed a drug called citalopram, which is a slow-burner as far as anti-depressants go, but it's helped, I won't lie. I have also been going to group counselling, and sharing my experience with others who are going through similar has been equally great. I'm now waiting on a phone consultation with my doctor to update her on my progress. I'm having good days and bad days so far, but the good ones are picking up.

2 - The work situation continues to be absolutely dire. I haven't had a week of full-time shifts this year, and it's not exactly picking up (although with certain further changes occurring within the system I'm assured it will eventually). It's left me in a deep financial hole that has left me owing money, including rent arrears. Needless to say I most likely will not still be living in this flat by the end of this year, although as to where I'm going to go is another matter.

3 - I'm still applying for jobs, and have had a couple of interviews, so I'm not really getting anywhere. It sucks, because a few of the jobs have been ones I've really wanted too. I'm about to go back to Strathclyde Uni's careers service to see if they can help me at all.

And that's really it. If I feel able to update you on my progress I will, but thus far, this year is panning out to be one of the worst on record.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Happy New Year

And I've just thought of another new year's resolution:

Don't rely so much on my phone. 

As to how I'm going to manage this, I have little clue. However, for starters I'm going to buy an alarm clock. I've used my phone for the purpose for years now. I do have a wind up alarm clock but it's a bit unreliable; it has to be wound up to the full and even then I've known it to not go off a couple of times. I'll get a proper digital / battery powered one from somewhere, and start with that. Then I'll keep my phone in a different room at night; perhaps even turn it off. 

Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Year's Resolutions

First of all - Merry belated Christmas!

Due to weather I ended up with an unexpected stopover in Aberdeen for two days, but it was lovely. I've been home for a week now. I don't know what's in store for when I return to Glasgow on the 5th.

Anyway - that time again! New Year's Resolutions in the hope they might happen. Here we are again, with the ones I made last year:

Get a new job.
(Kept: no, but efforts made)
Same as last year, a couple of interviews but nothing yet. Hopefully 2013 will bring a change, even if it's by way of an admission to a Masters.

Learn to drive.
(Kept: nope.)
New paper licence finally acquired, but due to monetary restrictions have been unable to actually book any lessons. Hope to do so in the new year.

Open a savings account.
(Kept: yes)
Alas, I proceeded to spend all the money I got. Oh well.

Renew my passport.
(Kept: yes.)
Oh yeah :D I think, if I can pull together the money, that a little weekend abroad might be in order for next year. 

Go to the dentist.
(Kept: HAH!)
Moving on...

Live a little.
(Kept: no.)
Again, if I succeed with learning to drive and getting a new job, that might help.

Get a new hobby.
(Kept: no.)
Poi spinning fell spectacularly by the wayside. Will try again in the new year.

Go and visit Auntie Iz in her new place.
(Kept: yes.)

Visit Arran and / or Bute.
(Kept: no.)
Again, might have been easier if I'd learned to drive. Hopefully this year, since I have no concrete plans beyond the Folk Festival. 

That's three out of nine kept, poor show! Six I'm carrying into the new year with me, along with the hope of getting into one of the Masters courses I applied for. 

Have a good new year, everyone!

Friday, 14 December 2012


I'm going to take time out from the usual blog subjects to talk about finally 'discovering' this app that seems to be all the rage.

In all honesty, Instagram was not an app I previously felt the need to get. I do have friends and acquaintances who are also signed up to it. I'm not gonna bang on that I 'didn't feel the need to follow the trend', because anyone who knows me knows what my online presence is like. I spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter, and back in the days of Myspace and (shudder) Bebo I was addicted to those too. Being owner of a smartphone - a pebble blue Samsung Galaxy SIII, no less - I finally got bored one sleepless night and decided that I would see what all the fuss was about.

For those of you who've been hiding in a cave since this app came into being, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal summed it up perfectly in this comic, and the legends behind College Humor summed it up with this:


That's all it is. Just an app to take photos with, which was one of the things that put me off getting it in the first place anyway. Yes, you can add filters to enhance an image, make it look bleaker or brighter...and that's it. I won't lie, I've only really just gotten started on it in the last couple of days and I'm bored already. The first photo is just me in my Cookie Monster hat (which has been getting a lot of wear with the increasingly cold weather). This was the first photo I took, using a filter on my phone's camera:

 Hat joy

Nice hat, eh? I know, I love it. You want one? You can buy it here, along with matching mittens (which I also have, although be warned - you can do bugger all wearing them. You'll at least be warm though). Then I decided I'd give it a try through Instagram. This is the orignal snap I took:

Hat joy 2

And here it is Instragrammed:

Best hat ever.

Yes, I do agree, it looks nice with that filter, although I look paler than usual. But to be honest, I couldn't tell you the filter I used on it because I genuinely can't tell half of them apart. There's at least two black and white ones, and three '70s / Polaroid looking ones, and that filter I used, as I said, was also one of three. They're not even just called 'black and white' or 'sepia'. Seems pointless. That said, I'll probably still use it just because I can. If anyone feels inclined to follow me, my username is 'wirhannah'.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


In recent years I have come to the conclusion that my new-found life as a city slicker has left me more susceptible to cold temperatures than ever before.

Tenement flats in Glasgow are the biggest culprits for crap insulation. I've lived in four since moving here (this one included) and every year it's been unbearably cold.

As for me, I'm still applying for jobs, still getting fed up with the market, still trying to get my finger out with regards to going back to uni. It's all a bit scary right now.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Yet more projects

It's been too long since I had an update that was worthwhile posting, so here we go again.

Basically, due to the restructure happening at The Paid Job, the hours have dried up significantly. As a result, money is very tight. I've usually well and truly started my Christmas shopping by this point but I've been entirely unable to. Therefore the driving lessons idea has gone up the swanny for now. They'll have to wait until the new year. Oh well.

I've also applied for a full time position with my paid job, in the hope that I can raise some money.

On top of this, I've finally started a couple of post grad applications for creative writing courses, and have also applied to the JET programme to go and teach English in Japan for a year. Fingers crossed, then.