treat yo self

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i.o.u.

I owe you a post about this weekend at Unawatuna and another about Galle. I swear I’m going to write them up and they will be full of lush tropical beaches and quaint, weather-beaten Portuguese* UNESCO-protected monuments.

But in a bid to get back on the wagon, I was going to write you a crappy post about my crappy cooking. But cooking really isn’t my strongest point. You know what my strongest point is? Stories about how nuts I am.

This Sunday night I got back from my weekend at the beach, and immediately adopted my favourite position: sprawled over the couch with my laptop. I noticed I was being bitten by some pesky insect, but that’s what happens outside of Siberia; winged exoskeletal life-forms hunt you down and suck your blood.

Monday the bites were invisible, but itchy. Monday evening I went to see the quite excellent latest Batman film, and it mostly distracted me from how itchy all these bites were. Monday night I woke up at 3am after a couple of hours of sleep, consumed with how itchy my entire body had become, despite there not being a single visible mark on me (other than where my nails had scratched me). At this point, I spiraled into a cycle of insanity, convinced that those pigeons on the balcony had filled my air-conditioning unit with birdmites and that my house was now infected and I would never, ever sleep again.

I covered myself in: Voltaren Gel (anti-inflammatory!) – Advantan (steroid cream!) – CK free aftershave (alcohol!) – Burt’s Bug Relief (duh). I took a sleeping pill (because of the following association: sleeping pills make you sleep and so does diphenhydramine hydrochloride and that’s an antihistamine so maybe this random sleeping pill will also make me stop itching and not make me crazier at all!). Then I got paranoid that I was imagining things because there still wasn’t a single mark on me, so I got out an eyeliner and circled all the places that itched.

When I go mental it gets messy

Around 4am I read some more about birdmites on the internets, and began to really lose my shit. I got up. I stripped the bed. I did FOUR. LOADS. OF. LAUNDRY, which I then tied up, damp, in plastic bags, because if I put anything out to dry OMG THE BIRDMITES WILL GET IN THERE. I started tossing bleach around willy-nilly.

At 6am I texted my boss some feverish appeal for protection against these evil pigeons and he advised me to get to a doctor ASAP. He didn’t actually say a psychiatric doctor, but it’s probably what he was thinking. I texted back begging him to get someone to TAKE OUT THE PIGEONS THEY ARE KILLING ME. Bless him, he did.

At 8am I realised I wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry thanks to that pill and lack of sleep kicking in. I found a clean sheet in my cupboard, and wrapped myself in it before huddling on the bare mattress like the loony I am.

Eventually around 2pm someone turned up with a clipboard and two barefooted boys, to deal with the pigeons. I was hoping they would come armed with at least some form of extermination device, but they just poked the pigeons with a broom and then swept up the mess from my balcony. I watched from the safety of my couch, gesticulating wildly whenever they tried to bring anything into the house. NO, NO, NO PIGEON-MATTER IN MY PRECIOUS HOUSE IT WILL KILL ME. I’m sure they thought I was totally normal.

Then I went to the dermatologist as recommended by my friend Vijay. The dermatologist told me it was an allergy, and prescribed me lots of pills and lotions and sent me on my way. I still am pretty itchy actually, but knowing it’s an allergy has made it a little easier. I suspect the couch is a culprit. Maybe the pigeons sit on it when I’m not around.

ANYWAY. Today I was well domestic and decided to use my kitchen for something other than toast.

Nicest kitchen I’ve had in a long time

I was inspired by the recipe on the back of a bag of rice, but couldn’t get hold of all ANY of the spices it listed. I made do with a “biryani masala” spice mix instead. I don’t think I did a great job of it, it started out looking a bit… meh…

and ended up tasting very bland. The only saving factor was the curd mixed in with it. Curd tastes a teensy bit like crème fraîche. Or maybe plain yoghurt. Or maybe mine was a bit off. Dunno — it definitely improved the taste of this dull, dull food I made. There’s seconds and thirds left over if that appeals to anyone… But hey. I did something other than work and waste time on the internet today!

*Yes, Portuguese. They follow me to every island I visit.

earthquakey people

(Title not really related to this post, but it’s my new favourite concept and I can’t stop listening to Steve Aoki at the moment).

I am trying to get back into writing on my blog, because the point of it is to write about something I did for me today, so surely there must be something I can say… Apart from over-dosing on coffee (it was inevitable, really, but thanks to my magical kava-kava pills I balanced things back out again), I got a lot of work done and have been re-heating my InDesign skills. But the thing I did for me today I guess was listening to the relaxation/sleep tapes (mp3s, really, but “tapes” somehow sounds better!) David passed on to me. I have a VERY rocky relationship with sleep, but last night (aka early this morning) I half-heartedly put them on. And they worked! Which is crazy, considering I had gone to sleep around 7am the night before, and woken up around 2pm. I was asleep before 1am and slept all the way till 9 in the morning. UN-HEARD OF. I need never take a sleeping pill again.

Also, my knees hurt somewhat LESS today. Thus, I am the new expert in autoimmune diagnosis.


Don’t ask me why, this is what came up when I googled “emmett miller easing into sleep” aka the title of my relaxation tapes, and it’s definitely the most interesting illustration I can come up with right now.

today in numbers

5 hours of sleep
6:30am start
30 minutes of stretching and upper-body workout
2km walk to school
3 hours of mind-numbing class
1 presentation
2 completed job applications
10 lengths of front crawl and backstroke
4.5 hours of Catherine+Rosie time
6km walk along the river



2 very sore and angry kneecaps, currently being iced
0 minutes of revision for Chinese test tomorrow

I just cannot seem to get it right. I thought swimming and walking were ok? I thought if I took my anti-inflammatories, stretched and did my exercises, and stopped running, everything would be alright. My knees beg to differ, using the medium of “getting very hot and tender” to express themselves.

Also, really: who wants to study for exams? I could care less (OK OK Adina and Gareth and you other linguistics freaks: I couldn’t care less). I am working on my Chinese MY WAY — translating all my Facebook updates into Mandarin.