A short, sharp, shit weekend in Longland

Hey you lovely lot, it’s Sunday evening. You don’t need me to tell you how quickly they come around, particularly at the moment.

I’ve spent the past couple of hours writing a really lovely long blog post and for some inexplicable reason I’ve just somehow managed to delete the entire lot. That, I think, sums up the past couple of days perfectly.

I’ve not been feeling very well this week. One of those circuitous things. I had a pain in my chest. And I felt sad. And the more my chest hurt, the sadder I felt. And the sadder I felt, the more my chest hurt.

Hurts.

Anyway, I’ve taken long baths, had big sleeps and cuddled my cat.

I went to see beautiful trees with a friend whose patience knows no bounds.

I sat on the sofa in my pyjamas and fluffy socks, eating good food and watching boxsettedy bilge.

I’ve tried not to compare myself to anyone else or to my other self.

That bit was the hardest.

I miss my old, travelling life.

I miss everything I had that defined me.

I miss this.

And this.

And this too.

I hate that I’ve become someone who has no plans and nothing exciting to tell my friends and acquaintances. I hate that I’m having to make adventure and excitement out of nothing for the sake of having a tale to tell because that is what people expect of me and I expect of myself.

I don’t like not having anything to say.

But as the weeks and months roll by I have fewer and fewer exciting things to share and I can’t help but feel that because of that I am becoming less and less of a person. I don’t have a partner, family, fantastic career or any of the things that people talk about.

I’ve only ever had my travel.

So the self-care weekend was really such a waste of time. There’s plenty I need more of in life – but sleep, good food and the sofa stuck to my back aren’t any of them.

I suppose at least the past couple of days have helped me to realise that.

Take care lovely people – and keep smiling. No need for you to have a so long face like mine!

Shauna x

So long at home: this week’s random ramblings

Since my last post, for which I make no apologies as my writing at the moment, selfishly, is more about sorting out what’s going on in my head than actually telling you anything useful or particularly entertaining, I’m pleased to report that I’ve had a much more positive few days, despite everything that’s going on in the big, bad world.

I took this week off work.  I had bravely arranged a solo tripette. The booking stood only for a few days after which I had to cancel it due to Tier 3 restrictions being announced in my area.  These restrictions were subsequently put on hold pending the new national lockdown (Lockdown 2.0 is what everyone is calling it.  F*ck knows why.  Come on, it’s not computer software, is it?!) which meant that I could have gone on my mini-journey after all, though a train and a hotel were looking like terrifying, rather than exciting, prospects.

Anyhow, whichever way, it wasn’t to be.  I’ve rearranged my hotel for another time and I’m told that I might be able to change my train ticket too.  That gives me hope.  And something to look forward to.

Another plus point is that the cancelled trip gave me more time during my week off to get my home – and crazy lady head – sorted. The more work I did at Longlands, and the more items I ticked off my never-ending verrrrry Long list, the better I felt.

Time well spent, I’d say.

Topophilia, travel, grief & guilt

I happed upon a new word the other day.  Topophilia.
If it’s a new word to you too then in very simple terms it means ‘the love of a place’.
Throughout my travels, particularly during the past 10 years when I’ve been heading off solo, some destinations have struck such a chord that I’ve visited them several times over.  But only one place has ever really stolen my heart.

So long, self-help book!

This book arrived today. 

I bought it because I had a voucher to use and because I’ve been worrying about festering and not achieving enough in my little Long Life.

Look at the words on the cover:

Hell fire. I’ve just realised that I don’t need to transform my life any more right now!

In the past 10 months I’ve left an absolute asshole of a guy when I didn’t have a job or anywhere to go. 

I survived lockdown living and working (when I wasn’t furloughed) in a shithole flat. 

Then I put myself through administrative hell and somehow managed to buy myself a new home despite the pandemic and not having permanent employment.

Logistically it was an incredibly difficult move.  I did most of it on foot, carrying my belongings in suitcases, back and forth, back and forth, interspersed with a couple of moving interludes with trusted friends to shift the few larger things I own.

And now I’m in.  Thank goodness.

I’ll tell you more about it soon but in the meantime safe to say, it’s wonderful and I’m feeling incredibly blessed to be here, despite the fact that I’m sleeping on an inflatable bed and I have no curtains. Oh and I fell over and cracked my knee open and I’m struggling to walk. But it’s not a trip without a trip, remember?! https://solong.blog/2020/04/13/my-all-time-top-three-trips/

Going back to the book. Yes, I am ABSOLUTELY going to f*cking do it. I’m going to put the bastard book down and give myself a ruddy break!

Tonight’s government announcement didn’t come as any surprise but it told us what we all knew anyway – that we’re going to need to snuggle up and go back to the basics once again.

So, as the nights draw in and the days grow colder, we should remind ourselves what *really* matters.  

Take each day as it comes.

Be kind to yourself.

Be kind to those around you.

I’m no expert.  However, these are the things I’ve been doing this year and not only have they got me though a time which would have been incredibly dark even without a pandemic but they’ve pushed me forward too.  No self-help book required.

I’ll be honest. I can’t make any of this better for you. But I can be there with you.

I’ve just renewed my WordPress subscription for another year knowing that I’m going to be keeping a travel blog going without actually venturing anywhere. Remember, though, that travel isn’t about going places, it’s about adventure – and there’s plenty more of that to come for each and every one of us, in various guises, I promise.

More soon. In the meantime I’m sending much So Long love to you all,

Shauna x